GALWAY FESTIVAL DAY FOUR: SHAMROCK again previews each race at Galway. It’s an eight race card today starting at 1.50pm.

A disappointing day yesterday with just two winning returns from seven races (we had a non runner), though the place return on 16/1 shot Point The Toes ensured some damage limitation.

We head back to Galway on Thursday where the action starts earlier at 1.50pm.

1:50 Perfect Pint Beginners Chase (5yo+, 2m 6f, 16 runners)

Spring Heeled is quite short for this opener trading around 2.2 on BETDAQ. He comes into this race comfortably the top-rated horse and has had a break since finishing 4th at Punchestown in April. At similar odds, I prefer Golden Wonder in the BETDAQ place market. He makes his chasing debut but looks an exciting prospect and absolutely bolted home at Bellewstown last time out over hurdles.

SELECTION: Golden Wonder (PLACE)

2:20 Guinness Mid-Strength Novice Chase (5yo+, 2m 1f, 6 runners)

Winner of last year’s Galway Hurdle he should make no mistakes here. This race was chosen in preference to yesterday’s Galway Plate for which he would have carried top weight and this is clearly the softer option. He’s getting the hang of the bigger fences and was impressive at Killarney last time out.


3:00 Guinness Time Handicap (60-90) (4yo+, 1m 100y, 11 runners)

The first flat race of the day has been reduced to 11 runners with three non runners. The ten-year-old Maundy Money is in good form and is chasing a hat-trick but might be vulnerable to a younger improver. Fairylike felt the wrath of the handicapper after her easy success at Leopardstown and has shot up 12lb but I still feel she can play a major part in this race and looks a solid win and place bet.

SELECTION: Fairylike (WIN and PLACE)

3:40 Guinness E.B.F. Corrib Fillies Stakes (Listed) (3yo+, Class 1, 7f, 9 runners)

Last year’s 1-2 Lady Wingshot and Yellow Rosebud were set to do battle again but Lady Wingshot is a non runner leaving Yellow Rosebud as the warm favourite to go one better. She was only beaten a head last year and enoys the soft ground. She is taken to justify her market support. Aidan O’Brien’s Snow Queen has become disappointing.

SELECTION: Yellow Rosebud

4:15 Arthur Guinness Projects Novice Hurdle (4yo+, 2m 4f, 8 runners)

This looks as though it will develop into a match between Bally Longford and Our Man Zebo. Preference is for the improving Our Man Zebo who comes here on a hat-trick after wins at Ballinrobe and Wexford last time out. The grey is versatile ground wise and can account for Clonmel winner Bally Longford.


4:55 Guinness Galway Hurdle Handicap (Grade A) (4yo+, 2m, 21 runners)

One of the races of the week and always a great spectacle to watch. I’m keen on the chances of the Dermot Weld trained Rock Critic at around 11 on BETDAQ. He won his maiden hurdle here last year and has only had one run since over hurdles. That was at Fairyhouse in February when he beat the vastly more experienced Sea Bass and favourite Make Your Mark.

SELECTION: Rock Critic (WIN and PLACE)

5:35 IRFU Charitable Trust Handicap (50-70) (3yo+, 1m 4f, 16 runners)

Top weight Flying Light is contesting his first flat handicap but looks to have a great chance here. The ground is in his favour and he has plenty of useful form as a hurdler which can hopefully transfer to the flat here.

SELECTION: Flying Light

6:10 Guinness Quarter Flat Race (5-7yo, 2m 2f, 19 runners)

A very tricky finale in which the most experienced Marley Exit can only be considered a speculative selection.

SELECTION: Marley Exit

1.50 Golden Wonder (PLACE)
2.20 Rebel Fitz
3.00 Fairylike (WIN and PLACE)
3.40 Yellow Rosebud
4.15 Our Man Zebo (NAP)
4.55 Rock Critic (WIN and PLACE)
5.35 Flying Light
6.10 Marley Exit

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