NO breaking the Law in the opener.
LAW GIRL was a Listed-class performer on the Flat in France before being snapped up to join the Willie Mullins team. She shaped well on her debut at Listowel where he clearly needed her first experience over hurdles.
She then took a giant leap forward when running away with a novice even at Roscommon earlier this month. As you would expect, there was the odd jumping error along the way but she travelled like a quality performer.
That was over this distance and you would expect her to come on again for that run.
Housesofparliament won Group races on the level for Aidan O’Brien and big things were expected of him when switching to the jumping game. He went well when second on his debut at Leopardstown before being pitched into Grade 1 level too soon, which saw him hit the buffers.
This is his first outing since that February effort so he’s entitled to need it. But if he’s fully wound-up he’ll be hard to stop.
Cinema De Quartier is another still learning the game but won nicely at Kilbeggan latest, while Morgan is battle hardened and comes here after a game success at Wexford last time. He could be the bigger threat to Law Girl.
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BARRY Geraghty has got ALL THE ANSWERS in this beginners’ chase.
The Joseph O’Brien-trained six-year-old really took to fences on his debut at Killarney last time out. He was allowed to go pretty much at his own speed and finished the contest strongly. Indeed, he might well have won it had he been ridden closer to the speed by Jody McGarvey.
The main thing is he jumped well enough and is sure to improve for his first experience over the bigger obstacles.
Bilko looks a threat after a couple of encouraging chase spins since switching from timber. He started with a close-up second at Punchestown before chasing home All The Answers in that Killarney contest. He needs to improve past today’s rival but should be in the shake-up.
Lean And Keen fell on his chasing debut at Wexford but bounced back well to finish in the money at Limerick last time. He wasn’t asked too many questions there and looks capable of better again.
Three Wise Men has more experience than most of these and has gone close in stronger company. He comes back after a fall at Punchestown last time and it will be interesting to see how he recovers from that setback.
SIZZLING looks red hot.
Aidan O’Brien’s filly should find this a simpler assignment than Newmarket where she was second last time out.
She ran on strongly in the closing stages over this 7f trip there so Galway should suit, especially as the cut underfoot will bring her stamina into play. The daughter of Galileo probably wouldn’t have to improve to get off the mark.
O’Brien has a strong hand here with Conquest another filly who is surely going places. She shaped well on her debut at Leopardstown last time out, running on strongly once the penny had finally dropped. She should come on a bundle for that and is another who should be suited by these conditions.
Moghamarah was beaten in a close finish at The Curragh last time over 6f. She handled the soft ground well and was just run out of the win late on. She is bred to want this longer distance and will improve.
Active Approach didn’t get the run of the race on debut at Leopardstown latest. She was pushed out wide when making her challenge before rallying really well. There is more to come from her and she’s the biggest danger to the O’Brien pair.
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DOCHASACH was greener than the turf at Gowran on her debut so did really well to finish a close-up fourth. She was all over the place early on before getting the hang of things to be beaten less than two lengths.
It’s interesting to see Jim Bolger dropping her down from that 1m1f distance but this trip will take some getting in the tacky conditions. You would expect a bundle of improvement from that first outing.
Dermot Weld has won two of the past three runnings of this so his Espoir D’Soleil has to be respected. The draw could have been kinder but she’s beautifully bred and should know her job on this debut.
Cascavelle used to be with King of Galway and showed some promise, particularly when second at Roscommon over this trip. He’s joined Robbie McNamara since a modest run at Leopardstown in October and that could just have pepped him up.
Presidential ran better than sixth place suggests at Fairyhouse last time out. He was going nicely before being squeezed out turning for home, which knocked him off his game. He managed to gather himself to finish well but his winning chance had gone. That was over this distance and he shapes as though there is more in his locker.
7.40 – Big race preview
LIFE’S a Beach in the Colm Quinn BMW Mile.
WINDSOR BEACH is an honest performer at this level and has ticks in all the right boxes.
He likes this trip and handles cut in the ground as he showed when a close-up second at The Curragh two starts ago. That was in a 20-runner race so the hustle and bustle of this cavalry charge will hold no fears.
He’s just 1lb higher in the weights since then and ran another solid race when a close fourth at Leopardstown last time out. He rarely runs a bad race and will is more than likely to give his running again.
English raider Baraweez is coming over for another crack at Galway glory. He won here in 2015 and was a game fifth in this race 12 months ago. He’s tumbled 9lb down the weights since then, which must make him competitive.
Fuiwart has moved across the Irish Sea from Roger Fell to Gavin Cromwell and he’s another solid handicapper at this level. He was last seen running fourth in good company at Haydock where he might have won if starting his challenge a bit sooner. That was over this trip and he seems to act on any ground.
WAITIKI could be the answer to this head-scratcher.
She looked to be crying out for this mile distance when staying on well over 7f at The Curragh last time out. That was a solid effort and she was bang there until the pace quickened up and crossed the line in sixth place.
That effort came on the back of other solid performances at Fairyhouse and again at HQ where she was third in a big-field contest. The handicapper has given her a little nudge down the weights and that could be enough to do the trick. There will be no problem with the ground as she seems to go on anything.
Atlas has been hurdling but is probably better on the level. He has blinkers on for the first time here and was last seen finishing a close second on the all-weather at Dundalk.
He has no problem with give in the ground and is another who will be better suited by this extended mile than the 7f he faced last time out.
Serefeli landed a couple of Dundalk wins earlier this season but looked just as happy on the green stuff when beaten less than a length into second at Naas last time out. He drops back from 1m2f here and will try to make this a real test of stamina.
Storm Ranger is another worth considering in what looks a wide-open race. He is in excellent form with two placed efforts since winning over a similar trip at Tipperary three starts ago.
He’s gone up the weights since then but could have a big say while he’s in such excellent nick.
Galway Festival tips
- 5.20 Law Girl (treble)
- 5.55 All The Answers (nb)
- 6.25 Sizzling
- 7.05 Dochasach
- 7.40 WINDSOR BEACH (NAP)
- 8.10 Waitiki
- 8.40 Honor Oak
OAK looks mighty in the lucky last.
HONOR OAK was more than a little unlucky not to finish closer than fourth at The Curragh last time after not getting the run of the race. That was over a mile but she’s equally at home at this shorter distance.
That was clear when she finished an excellent second behind Group performer Asking over this trip two starts ago. She showed a good turn of foot there and was a good distance ahead of the third horse home.
The handicapper has been fair and she’s just 2lb higher than that day. All ground seems to come the same to her and stall seven looks a decent draw.
Midnitemudcrabs ran her best race for quite a while when fifth at Fairyhouse nine days ago. That was over 6f and the pace was a little quick come the business end of the race. Upped in distance here, she could take a hand.
Allegio has been in good form over further and managed to hold on for the win at Killarney last time out. He’s been upped a fair 4lb for that and he’ll try to go from the front. If he gets to the lead, he would be dangerous.
Avalanche is creeping up the weights but only because he’s been in good form. He was second to Allegio in a bobbing finish last time and there won’t be a lot between the pair again.