SEVEN DAY GALWAY FESTIVAL STARTS TODAY: Pace and stamina is the key. Not so much for the horses but primarily for punters as the week long meeting starts at 4pm today. SHAMROCK couldn’t be in better form going into the meeting with 10 winning naps from his last 12.

Dermot Weld has a record second to none at the Galway Festival which gets underway this afternoon and an incredible stat is that he is bidding to win the 5.00 race for the 21st time !!! One trainer that has proved a nemesis to him in the race however is Aidan O’Brien (won it twice in last five years) who looks to have the trump again card this year with Line Drummer who chased home stable companion The Ferryman on debut at Tipperary.

Given that The Ferryman had previously finished second to Mars on debut at Dundalk, and Mars is the ante-post favourite for the 2013 Epsom Derby we are talking high grade stuff, even though the form is embryonic. Dermot Weld relies on Thunder Mountain to extend his excellent run in the race and I’m sure he’ll run better than he did on debut when down the field at the Curragh but has a really tough rival in the shape of Line Drummer who I’ll take as the nap of the day and hopefully will make it 11 winners from the last 13 naps.

The meeting gets underway with a novices hurdle at 4.00 and Dermot Weld will look to get off to the best possible start with flat recruit Train Of Thought. However, this one was quirky on the flat and meets a bang in form Discoteca who bids for his 5th win on the spin and might just be able to give the weight away. There is little to choose between the pair on the BETDAQ market and I’ll go with the horse who is experienced over the jumps.

The handicaps on the card look particularly trappy today. In the closing bumper Silver Concorde is yet another for Weld with a big chance on the opening day.

NAP: Line Drummer (5.00 Galway)
NEXT BEST: Discoteca (4.00 Galway)

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