By Aodán Boland
We had a couple of winners and a couple of placed horses on Plate Day which included, Ravenhill at a massive 20/1 in the feature race. There’s going to be plenty of stylish action on and off the course today in Galway. The Feature race is the €300,000 Galway Hurdle. Let’s get straight into our selections for Ladies Day.
2pm Guinness Beginners Chase
This looks like it’s going to be between Dandy Mag and Cheltenham winner, Early Doors. I’m going to go with the latter to take this one due to the fact that the classy Dandy Mag hasn’t run in two years so fitness could be an issue. Early Doors was a fantastic winner of the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham and it will take a special horse to beat him in this race. From Eden and Minella Times are the each way picks.
2.35pm Guinness Novice Chase
Zero Ten was a decent winner here on Tuesday evening but he did not jump particularly well and will need to improve a lot to take this much stronger race. Moon Over Germany and Robin De Carlow are both in great form and deserve a mention but I have to go with Willie Mullins’ Grade One winning hurdler, Wicklow Brave. The former Irish St Leger winner is getting older but he showed at Ballinrobe that he still retains plenty of ability and I think he could put up a bold bid to win this.
3.10pm Rockshore Handicap
This looks like a very open handicap and a case can be made for at least half of the field. Waitingfortheday, Master Speaker, Honor Oak and Yuften should all run their usual solid races but Koybig was impressive at Killarney a fortnight ago and has been given a handy draw so I expect him to be in the mix of things at a nice each way price.
3.45pm Guinness Corrib Fillies Stakes
Sorrounding is probably the one to beat here. She won a Group 3 at Fairyhouse on her last outing and if in the same kind of form today than she should take this with relative ease. The each way pick is Aidan O’Brien trained, Firefly.
4.20 pm Guinness Novice Hurdle
On his last start at Cork, Doctor Duffy was just behind Peregrine Run, who finished fourth in Yesterday’s Galway Plate. That kind of form should be good enough to take this for trainer, Charles Byrne. Foveros and Ash Hill are the main dangers.
4.55pm Guinness Galway Hurdle
It’s looks like a wide open renewal of the €300,000 Galway Hurdle here on Ladies Day and with most bookmakers paying 6 places, make sure to back your selections each way. Band Of Outlaws, Shanning, Gardens Of Babylon and Riven Light are all of interest but I’ll go for top weight, Sole Pretender for trainer, Norman Lee. It’s been twenty years since the winner of the hurdle has carried more than 11-7. Sole Pretender will carry a massive 11-8 but I believe that he is up to the task of winning this based on his form last season. He has won 5 of his 7 Races including his last two outings where he bolted home in style at Wexford and Ballinrobe. The top weight in yesterday’s Galway Plate was written off by a lot of people beforehand and he ended up finishing second so anything could happen. It might be worth taking a chance on this speedy youngster to win in stylish fashion, on a evening that will be full of it at Ballybrit.
5.30pm Open Gate Handicap
Majority of this field are highly progressive types and a case can be made for a lot of them. One Cool Poet, Lusis Naturea, Shamad and Champagne Terri are all of strong interest but I’ll take a chance on Chaparral Dream, who has been running well over hurdles and has the assistance of top jockey, Colin Keane on his back so I expect a bold showing from him.
5.59 pm Guinness INH Flat Race
On Monday, I tipped long shot debutant, Shanwalla at a massive price. He finished very well and done enough to suggest that he will win sooner or later so I’ll gladly give the Galway trained horse another chance each way at a big price to close out Ladies Day at Ballybrit.