4:35 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Handicap Hurdle 2m ½f
A difficult opener but Paul Nolan looks to have a decent hand with both Socially Distant and Valentia Lady, with slight preference for the former. She is a lightly raced six-year-old who produced her career best effort on her most recent start when two lengths away from Pure Bliss at Punchestown. She has the scope to progress further and should handle the ground.
Valentia Lady had the form of her previous win boosted by the runner-up Leac An Scail Lady and should be thereabouts. Others to note are Gavin Cromwell’s Call Me Dolly, who had a number of these behind her last time out, and Loudest Whisper, who has good course form and comes in here off a good win at Bellewstown.
SELECTION: SOCIALLY DISTANT NEXT BEST: LOUDEST WHISPER
5:10 Tote+ Placepot Pays More Novice Hurdle (Listed) 2m ½f
Wide margin Tipperary winner Dark Voyager will be all the rage for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend here but don’t underestimate Henry de Bromhead’s Annie G, another easy winner last time out at Listowel. Prior to that she gave the much hyped Gypsy Island a real scare at Tipperary and she might well be a smart mare herself now.
In truth, it’s difficult to rule out any of the seven here, with each runner attaining recent winning form. Persia may be best of the rest, having won easily on his penultimate start and finished second to The Little Yank, the pair of them well clear, on his previous run at Ballinrobe.
SELECTION: ANNIE G NEXT BEST: DARK VOYAGER
5:45 Tote+ At tote.ie Galway Races Maiden Hurdle 2m 5f
Desir Du Large could be the answer to this useful maiden hurdle. He has some notable Grade 2 form in his book from Naas and Fairyhouse and only just failed to get off the mark over hurdles Killarney last time, when second to Off Your Rocco (runs in race before this). He can make his experience count.
Willie Mullins has won this for the last three years so clearly Lasparas is a threat despite making his hurdles debut in a deep race. The Loughbrickland point winner won a Tramore bumper last month and should be better suited to a proper pace race today. True Faith will be dangerous as well after a promising opening effort to finish second at Kilbeggan.
SELECTION: DESIR DU LARGE NEXT BEST: LASPARAS
6:15 Tote Galway Plate (Grade A) 2m 6½f
The J.P. McManus-owned and Willie Mullins-trained runners dominate the top of this market but bar Koshari, none of them look especially well treated at the weights and it may well pay to go further down the market and exploit likely useful each-way terms.
The two that interest the most are Mitchouka and Darasso, available to back at around the 16/1 - 20/1 mark. Mitchouka has been trained for this contest ever since he won at Leopardstown in March, in a race that has worked out seriously well with most notably the second Livelovelaugh winning the Topham and fourth Mister Fogpatches finishing third in the Scottish Grand National before winning at the Punchestown Festival. There was also multiple winners among the also-rans suggesting Gearoid O'Loughlin's gelding may have plenty more to give off his new mark of 144.
The consistent Darasso looks a much more solid contender than his odds suggest. It seems like he has been around for a while but he’s only had six starts over fences and he’s won four of them, and ran out seven lengths too good for Snow Falcon on his most recent start chasing. The handicapper only put him up 2lbs for that and he warmed up for this with an excellent run over hurdles when just two lengths away from Sole Pretender in a Grade 3 at Tipperary. He looks like he’s in the form of his life and the likely yielding ground will suit him well.
Koshari is most interesting out of the principles and could be the one for money considering he is 10lbs better off over fences compared to his hurdles mark. Current favourite The Shunter has been a revelation but jumped poorly when last seen over fences at Aintree and probably wouldn’t get away with that here.
Don’t discount Liam Cusack’s Snugsborough Hall, who will need luck in running, but ran a very good race to be fourth in the Topham and warmed up for this with good runs on the flat and over hurdles.
SELECTION: MITCHOUKA NEXT BEST: DARASSO
6:45 Tote+ Biggest Dividends At tote.ie Handicap Hurdle 2m 5f
Guiri has taken a significant step forward on each of his previous three starts and can do so again here. A smooth winner of a competitive handicap hurdle at the Punchestown Festival last time out, he has been given time since that race and comes here a fresh horse with plenty of scope to improve again.
Dalton Highway will be popular after his win on the flat at the Curragh but his hurdles form is only so-so and the Cathal Byrnes-trained Summer Tide may give the selection most to do. He stayed on strongly to win his maiden hurdle at Tipperary and could progress now coming into a handicap hurdle.
SELECTION: GUIRI NEXT BEST: SUMMER TIDE
7:15 Tote+ Proud Sponsor of The Galway Races Handicap Chase 2m 2f
Henry de Bromhead has seven of the runners in this contest and it might pay to concentrate on his Tiger Voice and Abbey Magic, both previous course-and-distance winners. Tiger Voice won a decent handicap chase at Punchestown last time out, staying on well to beat Le Musigny, who has run well at Killarney since. He is a six-year-old with just six starts over fences so has the scope to go further now. Abbey Magic is less unexposed, but doesn’t have a million miles on the clock either, and the form of her third to Rapid Response in the valuable mares handicap chase at the Punchestown Festival would have her thereabouts.
This is really competitive and there are any amount of dangers, not least Exit Poll, another unexposed one, who shaped well when racing over a trip likely to be further than ideal at Killarney last time. He has previous good form at this sort of distance, having beaten Star Max in his beginners chase at Leopardstown.
SELECTION: TIGER VOICE NEXT BEST: ABBEY MAGIC
7:45 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares INH Flat Race 2m ½f
This isn’t an appealing betting heat in the slightest with likely favourite Memorable Daise disappointing as a favourite on both of her two starts. Trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Jody Townend, she still looks the most likely winner here.
Monster Are Mwee is the other mare with notable form but hasn’t exactly progressed on two starts since a debut third to My Mate Mozzie. Norman Lee’s She Is Electric, a debut fourth at Sligo, could fare better now while it may be worth monitoring any market moves for Santa Maria, with Dermot McLoughlin booking Barry O’Neill
SELECTION: MEMORABLE DAISE NEXT BEST: SHE IS ELECTRIC
8:15 Tote+ Pays You More at tote.ie INH Flat Race 2m ½f
Esperti could be the answer to the lucky last. Peter Fahey’s son of Presenting made a promising debut when second to a well backed Emmet Mullins horse at Down Royal (The Gossiper) and could improve upon that effort now. The third in that race showed the form was solid enough when filling that position again on her next start.
An Emmet Mullins horse looks to be the biggest danger to the selection again because Merlin Giant ran very well on his debut at Punchestown when fourth to Adamantly Chosen. He may well have been kept for this and Patick Mullins has been booked.
SELECTION: ESPERTI NEXT BEST: MERLIN GIANT