He didn’t jump as well as he can at Roscommon but he won well and he’ll learn plenty. He’s probably going to run in the listed hurdle on Tuesday and should run well.
The Friday Man
The Friday Man was Lisa O’Neill’s last winner when he won a bumper at Tramore, and he won his first start over hurdles at Bellewstown. He has the option of going for the listed hurdle on the Tuesday or the novice on Wednesday, so we’ll make a call on that closer to the time. He’s a nice horse and the longer trip on Wednesday might suit him.
Call Me Lyreen/Say Goodbye
Call Me Lyreen and Say Goodbye will both go for the Grade 3 novice chase on Thursday. Call Me Lyreen has been good over fences and took advantage of what looked a nice opportunity the last day. Say Goodbye has progressed with every run over fences and beat a good mare of Henry de Bromhead’s (Gin On Lime) at Limerick. She has looked pretty good over fences and has come a long way in a short time.
Wednesday (Galway Plate)
I would say we’ll run as many as we can in the Plate. Battleoverdoyen and Hurricane Georgie will definitely run. Hurricane Georgie was very good at Kilbeggan (won Midlands National), and she is entitled to take her chance. She is very tough and it’s great for the syndicate who own her to have one like her and to be good enough to run the Plate.
Party Central/Top Bandit/Felix Desjy/Vina Ardanza/The Tide Turns
Thursday (Galway Hurdle)
Whatever we get into the Galway Hurdle will run. I think Party Central is made for the race. She likes a fast pace and has a nice weight on her back. She is in great form. Top Bandit is better than his run in the County Hurdle and he’s in good form.
Felix Desjy ran well the last day at Tipperary and before that was very good on nice ground at Punchestown. Vina Ardanza and The Tide Turns are there as well, and they are also in good form. The Tide Turns was a good juvenile, and he will come on for his last run at Bellewstown.
Vina Ardanza is a nice horse too and has been in good form and he has a lovely weight on his back so the plan is to run as many as we can in those big races next week.
Wednesday (Galway Plate)
He’ll go for the Plate and he’s in great form. We schooled him on Thursday and he jumped super. I’m delighted with him. He was very good at Sandown (Bet365 Gold Cup) and while that was over further (three miles and five furlongs), I don’t think dropping back to ‘two-six’ will be an issue for him. They will go very hard for the first couple of furlongs and once he can lie up with them early, without using up too much energy, I think he’ll be okay. I honestly think that if he’s in the shake up at the bottom of the hill, it’ll take a fair one to beat him. Jordan Gainford will ride him again – that was confirmed to me on Thursday, and it is great to have him on board again.
He’s a very uncomplicated horse. He’s not overly big but he won with a big weight at Sandown and it’s a tight handicap so I’m not too worried about the fact that he’ll have a lot of weight on his back. Unless Easy Game comes out, he has 11st 7lbs and the bottom weight looks like it’ll be around 10st 7lb so even though he has a big weight, he’s not giving away too much (weight). The ground will be fine for him and in fairness to Galway, they always get the ground right.
He goes for the amateur race on Monday and also the good handicap hurdle on the Saturday. The race on Monday (Connacht Hotel Handicap) has been the plan for a while now and he’s in great form. He has been beaten twice this year, but he loves Galway and as long as the ground isn’t too fast, he’ll be fine.
If he doesn’t make the cut for Monday, he has the option of going back there on Saturday for the €100,000 hurdle. He is a real Galway specialist and like lots of mine, we have worked back from next week with him.
I think he’ll love the undulations of the track and he is likely to run in the handicap hurdle on Monday. He’s in great form and he goes there with a real chance.
Like Dancing/Brissle Boy
They are both in the bumper on Monday and there is a good chance that both will run. They are a nice pair of four-year-olds and both go well. They have enough done to get them started and if they both look like getting in, they’ll run. We like them and they’ll give a good account of themselves.
He ran a nice race for us on Wednesday at Naas and we have done a lot of jumping with him since we bought him. He is not with us that long, but we like him, and the plan is that he’ll go for the maiden hurdle on Saturday. We only bought him just last week, so we are still learning about him, but he does like jumping and Chris Hayes who rode him the other day liked him, so he could run a nice race for us on Saturday.
He won the mile-and-a-half premier handicap last year and he’ll go for the amateur handicap on Monday night this time.
We know that he operates well around Galway and while he has a lot of weight, course form counts for a lot around there. We’ll have to see where he is drawn too – no matter what race you run in on the flat, a low draw is preferable. He ran well over a bit shorter in the premier handicap on Irish Champions Weekend. He’s in good form and he won’t run a bad race, but the stats suggest that trying to win this race with a lot of weight won’t be easy.
He is an American bred so going to Galway with that type of pedigree is a concern, but he is a nice horse and he’ll go for the bumper there on Monday.
He shows a nice bit at home and hopefully he can justify his place.
The Shunter/Cape Gentleman
Wednesday (Galway Plate)
They will both go for the Plate. Cape Gentleman was a high-class novice last season, and he should have a bit of potential left.
He had a heavy fall in the Drinmore last season which meant that he picked up a bit of an injury that day. Going into a Galway Plate on the back of a fall and a lay-off isn’t ideal, but he ran well there last year – he was third in the Galway Hurdle. Hopefully if he is fit enough and gets a clear run, he should run a nice race.
Hopefully The Shunter has had a better prep than last year – we have continued on from Punchestown and we picked up that flat maiden with him since at Sligo. He’s in good form.
He is fighting fit and was fourth in it last year off a similar weight. He’ll go there and be competitive again hopefully. Ground won’t be an issue for either horse.
He is a dual winner on the flat around Galway and he’ll run wherever he gets in. He is in the premier handicap on Friday, and he is borderline to get into the hurdle on Monday, but he’ll run down there either on the flat or over hurdles. He could run twice down there – he probably wants softer ground though.
He was second in a bumper down there last year and has since won his bumper at Ballinrobe. He ran some good races over hurdles last season and the plan is that he’ll go for the qualified riders’ race on Thursday.
Hopefully he can make up for his narrow defeat there last year and go one better.
Thursday (Galway Hurdle)
He has the option of the winners’ race on the Monday, but at the minute we are inclined to let him take his chance in the Galway Hurdle.
It’s a huge pot and it’s a race that has been lucky for us in the past – we’ve won it three times and it’s been an important race for us.
This is the first time in a while that we have what looks like a contender for it. He was a good horse for Aidan (O’Brien) before we bought him last year and he did well for us over hurdles last season.
He was pushed very wide in the Boodles at Cheltenham which wasn’t ideal, but he still ran well to finish fourth. He was very impressive when he won his first start on the flat for us at the Curragh. He went up 19lbs for that and we had the option of going for the Ebor, but he gets into the handicap proper in the Galway Hurdle and with his four-year-old allowance, he looks to have a lovely weight so the chances are that if he gets in, he’ll go there.
He has the option of the Irish Cesarewitch later in the year, but the Galway Hurdle is worth a lot of money and it’s very tempting.
Being the race that it is, off that weight, and assuming he’s in good form, we are going to have to run him in it. My one concern is if he’d have enough experience over hurdles around there, but the ground should be fine for him and he’s not a big horse.
Gabynako/ Jeremys Flame
Wednesday (Galway Plate)
I’d say Gabynako and Jermeys Flame will go for the Plate. They both had a short break after Punchestown but we got them going again there a few weeks ago and as the prize money is so good, we’re going this route with them. Hopefully both horses will be competitive in it. I’d love to win one of the big ones at Galway and I think they both go there in good form.
Gabynako has plenty of weight, but he was a high-class novice last season and I think the trip and track will suit both. Jermeys Flame didn’t achieve as much as Ganynako over fences, but at the same time, she never let us down and I think a fast-run race is what she wants, and she is bound to get that in the Plate. She has a lovely weight.
Gabynako was second in the Arkle at Cheltenham, and I don’t see the step back up in trip being an issue.
My Mate Mozzie/Dutch Schultz
My Mate Mozzie has the option of running in the amateur race on Monday or in the Galway Hurdle. He was a classy novice hurdler last season and was a shade unlucky not to win the Royal Bond last year. He has 11st in the Galway Hurdle at the minute and we’ll make our minds up as to what race he goes for over the weekend.
Dutch Schultz looks as if he’ll get into the amateur race on Monday and he is in great form. I’ve had this race in mind for him for a while and hopefully he’ll give a good account of himself.
She has been a star for us and while she has plenty of weight, the plan is that she’ll go for the Galway Hurdle. She has won the Scottish Champion Hurdle and she won well at Bellewstown a few weeks ago.
She is such a game little filly, and my one concern is that she is better going left-handed, but there is a bonus available for any horse which won that race at Bellewstown and the Galway Hurdle, so that makes it more attractive to run her.
She doesn’t have to give that much weight away and if you saw her at home, she is like a little pony, but she just has that heart and will to win.
She won a listed hurdle as well this season and she is just a terrific filly to have in the yard. If you are getting into a race like that you really have to go for it and ground wise, she is pretty versatile, as long as it doesn’t come up heavy, which seems unlikely.
We’ll bring a good team there this year. The horses are in great form so hopefully that will continue next week.
Saltonstall/Casanova/Current Option/Spanish Tenor/Star Harbour/Pierre Lapin/Sirjack Thomas
We’ll have a big team for the Colm Quinn Mile. They all did their last bits of work last week and they were all on the beach on Friday morning and they all seem fresh and well. Saltonstall has won the race twice before and he comes alive at this time every year.
He’s a brilliant horse to have and he ran well in the race last year when things didn’t really go his way. He was fourth at Leopardstown a couple of weeks ago and a little bit of juice in the ground is a big help to him.
Casanova has been knocking on the door in these races for the last while and he was only touched off at Leopardstown a couple of weeks ago. He also wasn’t beaten far in the Lincoln. He’s another who has very good course form and I’d say we’ll claim off him.
Current Option has been great for us around Galway winning the seven-furlong handicap twice and he’ll also take his chance. He wasn’t beaten far in the race last year and like a lot of them, he’ll run twice down there next week. He has been dropped a few pounds and I’d say that we’ll claim off him.
Spanish Tenor was third in the seven-handicap last year and we haven’t over raced him this year. He was very good in Gowran and is another that likes Galway and an ease in the ground.
Star Harbour and Pierre Lapin both have a big pot in them. Pierre Lapin ran well at the Curragh on Derby weekend, and I think he’s better than his last two runs.
The same can be said about Star Harbour who has been placed in a Lincoln and I’d say the fast pace that they go around Galway will really suit him.
Sirjack Thomas won the race for us last year and like so many of mine, he has a great record around Galway. He has yet to fire this season, but he seems to come alive around Galway and he worked nicely last week.