1:40 GUINNESS GALWAY GOLD BEGINNERS CHASE
Jeannot De Nonant sets a fair standard for this opener on the basis of his hurdle rating of 136 and could prove a tough nut to crack if improving for his first outing over fences in this country. Gordon Elliott’s gelding has yet to win since joining the yard towards the end of last year but he has run with credit on a couple of occasions and did okay when fourth to Conrad Hastings at Kilbeggan.
Of his main rivals, the likes of Bosman Rule, representing Willie Mullins, and Oathkeeper for Joseph O’Brien have a little bit to find. O’Brien has another runner in Tesseract who should go well and may be able to improve to put it up to the favourite. He jumped poorly when second on his previous run so has plenty of scope to improve on this, his third try over fences.
SELECTION: JEANNOT DE NONANT NEXT BEST: TESSERACT
2:15 GUINNESS OPEN GATE BREWERY NOVICE CHASE
Townshend has a few of these covered already, courtesy of his impressive win in a Roscommon novice chase last month. He jumped well there and has now won three of his five starts over fences. Peregrine Run finished second to him that day and has since won twice but whereas he was receiving 10lbs in weight from the Willie Mullins runner in Roscommon, now he will only get 3lbs.
Townshend jumped well at Roscommon and could prove a tough nut to crack
Don’t Touch It wasn’t in the Roscommon race (Potters Point and Landofhopeandglory were in behind) but he did win at the Punchestown Festival and now holds a rating of 150. That leaves him on favourable terms with Townshend and he could make that count. Landofhopeandglory is another intriguing ex-flat horses making his way in jumping game for Joseph O’Brien and if the ground came up good, he could progress enough to get involved.
SELECTION: DON’T TOUCH IT NEXT BEST: TOWNSHEND
2:50 GUINNESS DRAUGHT HANDICAP
Knockmaole Boy could make a quick reappearance after his win here on Tuesday and if he does, he is to be respected with a 6lb penalty and an extra furlong likely to suit. It’s a wide open race however with the likes of Ace Of Diamonds, Collision Course and Remarkable Lady all coming into this off good wins.
The two to take are Tribal Path and Clonard Street. The former finished third in the ‘Ahonoora’ Handicap here last season and returns off 4lb lower mark. He ran well behind the well-treated Pincheck on his previous run at Naas and he can go well here if Shane Foley can get him to the front end from stall nine. Clonard Street won his maiden here in 2014 before going on to finish second to Ol’ Man River in the Group 2 Beresford Stakes. Things obviously haven’t gone to plan with him but he is of interest off a mark of 79, especially after his good run to finish fifth to Hamely on Irish Derby Weekend.
SELECTION: TRIBAL PATH NEXT BEST: CLONARD STREET
3:25 ARTHUR GUINNESS IRISH EBF CORRIB FILLIES STAKES
If Dermot Weld is still looking for his first winner of this year’s festival, he will have high hopes the 104-rated Raymonda can provide it. The daughter of Lonhro has yet to win this season but has twice run well in Group 3 company and provided the ground stays somewhat lively she should take all the beating off favourable terms in this listed contest.
A total of 16 fillies are set to line up here but nearly half of them have well over a stone to find with Raymonda if she runs to her level. Alphabet appears to be less inconvenienced than others at the weights and she is interesting coming up to seven furlongs. She is a daughter of Lawman and most of the family on her dam’s side have form over at least seven furlongs so she could well improve for the step up.
SELECTION: RAYMONDA NEXT BEST: ALPHABET
4:00 GUINNESS NOVICE HURDLE
Lac Kivu may prove tough to beat, receiving weight from all bar one of his rivals. He comes into this off an impressive Punchestown maiden hurdle win, in which he beat subsequent impressive winner Cinema De Quartier. He’s proven over this trip and can progress now on his second start over hurdles, with Ruby Walsh to assist.
Lac Kivu was an impressive winner of a maiden hurdle at Punchestown
Walsh could have ridden Robin Des Foret, impressive in a novice hurdle last time out, and he has a chance here with Paul Townend in the plate, though he does have to concede weight to all five of his rivals. Bhutan is the other to note. He comfortably won his maiden hurdle at Tipperary and has scope to improve now coming up in trip.
SELECTION: LAC KIVU NEXT BEST: BHUTAN
4:35 GUINNESS GALWAY HURDLE HANDICAP
Tigris River has been on many people’s radar for this race for a while and Joseph O’Brien’s horse looks primed for a huge run with Barry Geraghty booked to ride. He ran well to finish fifth in the race last year which was a really good run considering he only had one run at Bellewstown before that and considering he was pushed and harried along from the exit off the back straight. He returns to Galway a year older, off a much better preparation and off only a 5lb higher mark. Considering he got an 11lb rise for his impressive win on the flat at the Curragh recently, he looks the best handicapped horse in the race.
Tigris River was impressive on the flat at the Curragh and returns to Galway in good form
Timiyan is another JP McManus horse (seven declared) to note. He won a maiden on the flat at Galway for Dermot Weld but has now found himself jumping hurdles for Gordon Elliott. He has won his last two and could go further than his current mark of 135. Max Dynamite is the other market leader and the choice of Ruby Walsh. He finished second to Quick Jack in this race in 2015 and considering his improvement on the flat since then, he is another who could be well in. The worry is the long lay-off as this will be his first run in well over a year.
Down the list there are any number of horses to consider. Western Boy has always given the impression he is a talented horse and comes here off an impressive Punchestown Festival win. Thomas Edison, who won this in 2014, is interesting with Davy Russell booked and Henry de Bromhead’s unexposed Ornua could be anything off a mark of 138 on just his fifth run over hurdles. Airlie Beach is one more to mention. It was at Galway last year that her star began to rise and though she disappointed at Cheltenham she has shown signs of a return to form on her two previous runs. She could outrun her odds of 16/1.
SELECTION: TIGRIS RIVER NEXT BEST: AIRLIE BEACH
5:15 GUINNESS HARP HANDICAP
Andrew McNamara’s Papal Motel could be the one to be on in this wide open 12-furlong handicap. The four-year-old has been running well over hurdles, going close to the likes of Nessun Dorma and Monday’s big race winner Whiskey Sour, and he ran well back on the flat on his most recent start when just held into second at Limerick. He can progress from that and should be thereabouts again despite a bad draw.
Camlann made it third time lucky at the festival last season
Usa takes his chance again, having finished second to Serefeli here on Tuesday night, and both Nicole McKenna’s Blue Skimmer and Jarlath Fahey’s Lucca come into this in good form. Camlann returns to Galway, where he ran three times last season, winning once and finishing third twice, and he may be primed for another big run. He has been running well over hurdles lately and returns to the flat here off a mark of 67 which could underestimate his current ability.
SELECTION: PAPAL MOTEL NEXT BEST: CAMLANN
6:00 GUINNESS WEST INDIES PORTER FLAT RACE
Peacocks Secret, who cousins Emmett and Patrick combine with, is the likely favourite after three good efforts in bumpers. The runners carrying the Mee colours this week have been going well and it’s likely this has been on the agenda for the five-year-old since his most recent start at Wexford.
However he may have a lot on his plate dealing with Dayna Moss, who represents the in form Peter Fahey and who ran with credit in the good bumper won by Poetic Power here on Monday night. That was just the son of Captain Rio’s second start and he can improve for it.
SELECTION: DAYNA MOSS NEXT BEST: PEACOCKS SECRET