THERE are ups and downs in all walks of life but even more so in a seven-day, 52-race, €2 million racing festival. Ideally you want more ups than downs but, on the other hand, some ups are negative and some downs are positive. Let’s start with a positive.
The quality of racing went up. It continues to go up. You had to be rated 132 to get a run in the Galway Hurdle and 137 in the Galway Plate. Ten years ago Liam Burke’s Sir Frederick won the Plate off a mark of 126 in a race where 123-rated horses got a run. At the same festival you only had to be on 117 to get a run in the Galway Hurdle, which was won by the 130-rated Pat Hughes’ Farmer Brown who carried 10st 11lbs. Neither Sir Frederick nor Farmer Brown would have been good enough to get into the said races this year.