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Preview and selections for Galway
28 Jul 2014 21:09
British raider Balty Boys heads the weights for the Topaz Mile Handicap, the feature event on day two of the Galway Festival. Brian Ellison's recent Newmarket winner is joined in the line-up by stablemate Baraweez, who would be on a hat-trick but for being demoted to second at Newcastle. The home defence is headed by Ken Condon's reliable Bold Thady Quill, with consistent three-year-old Maskoon and 2012 winner Vastonea representing Kevin Prendergast, while Willie Mullins is also double-handed courtesy of Lucky Bridle and Shamar. Dermot Weld and Aidan O'Brien have dominated the Topaz EBF Fillies Maiden since 2006 and both saddle interesting newcomers this time. Weld is represented by Chinese Light, who is a full-sister to his former top mare Chinese White, while €680,000 purchase Together Forever makes most appeal of the Ballydoyle trio. O'Brien should have high hopes for Shield in the opening Topaz Novice Hurdle (5.05), although he has to concede weight all round, including to four fellow last-start winners. Charles Byrnes' Royal Ascot hero Domination hasn't looked a complete natural over fences so far, but he has hit the crossbar at this meeting for the past two seasons and seems favoured by the conditions of the Latin Quarter Chase. The National Hunt trainers appear to hold the aces in the Handicap, with Mullins' duo of Wood Breizh and Alileo, as well as Martin's Cassells Rock, just three to catch the eye. The Caulfield Industrial Athlone Handicap is similarly competitive, with the weights headed by last year's winner Footprint. Henson and Rightway have shown enough to suggest that the EBF Maiden is well within their grasp, but Weld fits a visor to Antique Platinum, who offered plenty of encouragement when fourth on her Naas introduction.

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