CeeBee returns for the Galway Races and he has a number of outsiders selected in his preview of the Galway Plate.
5.30 Galway Plate 2m6f
The highlight (at least for me) of the week-long festival. 22 runners make up what looks a stronger field than is often the case. This is tough. At a brief glance there’s 13 or 14 I could make a decent case for.
Getting into it and I want to be against the favourite Alelchi Inois for numerous reasons but to cut to the chase I think his form is a long way short of his 147 rating. Those above him here are all proper G2 and G3 horses. He has won a raft of 6 runner novice chases in the summer. This 22 runner handicap chase against classier horses will be a completely different game. At 6/1 no thanks.
If you fancied Shanpallas, hard luck, the price has collapsed in the last few days. He ran out through a wing in this race last year and hasn’t been back to Galway since so I suppose that’s a slight worry. He was also beaten off a similar mark, when trying, in the Paddy Power Chase last November. A race which hasn’t worked out too well at all. He’s not on an attractive mark, 6lbs higher than his Munster National win. That day they finished in a bunch and none of those around him went on to do much since. Prior to this he was strongly fancied in the Kerry National and could only finish 3rd. He’ll need to give a career best here. No thanks.
Jacksonslady was 3rd in the 2013 Plate and a winner of a conditions chase at the 2014 Festival so certainly likes the place. Who wouldn’t like the Galway Festival! Unfortunately for her chance here, she won here last two races (Punchestown form possibly isn’t that strong either) and as such runs off quite a stiff looking mark. A career high mark in fact, at the age of 10. At 10/1 in this company, no thanks.
Texas Jack isn’t easy to win with and was very bad when last on a racetrack, in Killarney. This extended trip and hill finish will hardly see him in his best light either.
Alderwood is one I could fancy to run well at a nice price. He went off favourite in the 2014 Plate, returns off a much lower mark and surprisingly ran well in the Irish National last time. The combination of his 14 race losing streak, his age (11) and my distinct lack of faith in his trainer has me looking elsewhere however.
It’s a Gimme was well beaten in last year’s running after coming into the contest in top form. The form is not as good this time around so you’ve got to think the chances aren’t too good either.
Savello must have big stamina question marks.
Spring Heeled, representing the bang in form yard of media shy Jim Culloty will find the pace a little hot. He needs further.
Baily Green will struggle off this mark after a surprising effort in the Punchestown G1 earlier this season.
The Paparazzi Kid is arguably the least exposed of Willie’s five here but I think he’s on a stiff mark. When he beat Felix Yonger as a novice Felix wasn’t trying too hard.
Sadlers Risk has plenty to prove of late, especially over fences.
I’ve backed Shanahan’s Turn more than most this season. (Ante-post for the RSA & Jewson for good measure). From what we’ve seen this looks to be his trip. He struggled to see out 3miles as a novice hurdler and has won over 2m6f. He was going well, although a fair way from home, when coming down at Punchestown back in May. His novice hurdle form and first two runs over fences suggest a handicap mark of 142 is a gift but he just never developed it the horse connections (and I as a big fan) had hoped. He was absolutely rancid last time in Killarney. If he bounces back to his best it’ll take a good one to beat him so at 25/1 he is worth a small play ‘just in case’.
Rathlin is a course & distance winner who enjoys quick ground and runs off a lenient looking mark when you consider he placed in the competitive Topham Trophy off 5lbs higher only 3mts ago. There are not many better 3lb claimers than Luke Dempsey around either. Whilst his last run was a little disappointing, his second to last run was a 1/2L defeat to Make A Track with Baily Green 3L further behind. MAT is 12/1 here yet is 5lbs (including claims) worse off for half a length. BG is also 5lbs worse off despite finishing behind Rathlin in Punchestown. Rathlin hasn’t won for some time, the 2013 Galway Festival in fact, but at 33/1 and e/w terms of 5 places he has a lot going for him. Trip, track and ground all ok off a fair mark with a good claimer up.
Colour Squadron (don’t laugh) is another I could make a case for. In 2013 the JP McManus owned Quantitativeasing left the UK for Enda Bolger’s yard and on his first outing for Enda he finished second in the Galway Plate. JP has also sent Colour Squadron to Enda since his last run. He is a horse who needs to be rejuvenated after a series of bad runs this season gone but as a result he runs off a decent mark and there’s not many better than Enda at turning one around. In the same colours, albeit at a lower level, he turned Garde Champetre into a winning machine after getting him from Juno’s yard.
CS runs here off a mark some 9lbs lower than what he started the season on. He has also been placed off 3lbs higher in two good Cheltenham handicaps. Not one who likes to stick his head in front this big field will suit his quirky nature an awful lot more than the small field conditions races he’s been running in this year. He got a terrible ride, going to the front far too early, when beaten at Newton Abbott. Here he can be held up and gradually creep into it. With form on good ground, and the trip unlikely to trouble him he’s worth a nibble each way at decent prices.
I backed Foildubh in a competitive handicap chase 3mts ago off a mark 4lbs higher. He’s 50/1 here so straight away I’m interested. On that occasion he finished a decent 5th at Punchestown having been help up a long way off the pace where the first two home were up with the pace from the off. Next time he dropped back to 2miles and finished a 1/2L second in another decent Punchestown handicap, the first 3 miles clear. It’s good Irish handicap chase form and he’s now 2lbs lower than that mark. Foildubh very nearly won the G2 Bobbyjo this season and chased home Home Farm (& Hidden Cyclone) in a listed race this season as well. The handicapper has taken a chance with him off 140. Add in the capable 5lb claimer and he’s running off a career low mark, some 18lbs below his very best rating.
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