BLACK Corton and Bryony Frost will bid to give top English trainer Paul Nicholls a second win in the Galway Plate at Ballybrit on Wednesday, July 31st.
Successful with the Ruby Walsh-ridden Oslot in 2008, Nicholls has also entered Modus and the €300,000 Galway festival highlight has long been a target for the pair.
In all, there are seven British-trained entries including the Dan Skelton’s Azzuri, owned by the Irish-based the Blind Squirrels Syndicate. Peter Bowen has entered both Henryville and More Buck’s while Nicky Henderson’s Pacific De Baune and the Anthony Honeyball-trained Regal Encore, twice a runner-up at the Punchestown festival, are also in the race.
A winner last year with Clarcam and with Lord Scoundrel in 2016, Gordon Elliott has made 13 entries, headed by Mengli Khan which failed to land a blow on the Flat at Royal Ascot but had earlier shown up well at the highest level over fences at the Cheltenham, Aintree and Fairyhouse festivals.
Henry De Bromhead, on the mark in the race with Shanahan’s Turn in 2015 and Balko Des Flos two years ago, has made three entries with Heron Heights, a Punchestown festival winner for owner Barry Maloney, Poker Party and Valseur Lido making up his team.
Willie Mullins has six to choose from including course and distance winner Minella Beau, Yorkhill, and Pylonthepressure. Mister Miyagi has joined the champion trainer from the Stuart Edmunds yard while another that could begin his career in Ireland is Movewiththetimes which has moved from Paul Nicholls to Enda Bolger.
The remarkable Peregrine Run, superbly handled by Peter Fahey and the winner of his most recent five starts, is another notable entry as are the Grade 1 winner Coney Island for Edward Harty and the Liam Cusack-trained Snugsborough Benny, successful in the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase at the festival last year.
The weights for the 150th Galway Plate will be released on Monday, July 22nd at 2pm.
Michael Moloney, General Manager of Galway Racecourse, said: “2019 is a very special year for us here in Ballybrit as this year we will hold the 150th renewal of thetote.com Galway Plate, we are delighted to join forces with Tote Ireland and Horse Racing Ireland to increase the prizefund by €50,000 this year to €300,000 to mark this historic occasion. It is great to see a strong entry from the Irish trainers again this year, but it also adds another dimension to the race to have the seven entries from across the Irish Sea from the like of Paul Nicholls and Dan Skelton. The countdown is on and we can’t wait.”