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Dessie Hughes responsible for contrasting contenders in Galway Plate

Updated: Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 18:13 | Comments

Dessie Hughes' Golden Wonder prevailed in testing conditions at last year's Galway Festival
Dessie Hughes' Golden Wonder prevailed in testing conditions at last year's Galway Festival

Dessie Hughes is confident both Art Of Logistics and Golden Wonder are capable of making their presence felt in Wednesday's thetote.com Galway Plate.

Art Of Logistics heads ante-post lists following successive wins at Punchestown in May and June, but he has yet to win over further than two miles and two furlongs and he faces an extra half mile in tomorrow's €200,000 feature.

Golden Wonder on the other hand is proven at the trip, having won over the course and distance in a beginners chase at last year's Galway Festival, but Hughes admits his Irish Grand National runner-up would prefer more testing conditions.

"The thing is I want good ground for Art Of Logistics and I want cut in the ground for the other horse," said the trainer.

"I'm sure they'll water overnight and the ground will be safe, so hopefully Golden Wonder will handle it all right. He does need some cut.

"Art Of Logistics goes there in good form and nothing he's been doing suggests he won't stay. He looked beaten four out at Punchestown the last day over two miles and two, but he ended up winning well.

"If he does get the trip he'd have to have a serious chance.

"Golden Wonder is a course and distance winner and he's the right horse for the job as long as the ground is all right."

Leading owner JP McManus has won the race on six occasions, including the last two with Bob Lingo and Carlingford Lough, and this year the leading owner has seven runners in the field of 22, plus second reserve Jacksonslady.

McManus' racing manager, Frank Berry, said: "It's great to have a few runners in the race and fingers crossed the ground is safe for them all tomorrow.

"Kid Cassidy has top-weight with Jody McGarvey taking 5lb off. He has plenty of weight, but he's a decent horse on his day and it's the right race for him.

"Alderwood has had a bit of a stop-start season, but Tom Mullins is happy with him coming into the race and AP (McCoy) has chosen him, so hopefully he gives him a good spin.

"Vulcanite likes good ground and won his last race over fences in Market Rasen well, but I thought he got a big enough penalty. He'll like the ground, though, and hopefully he'll run well for Noel Fehily.

"Quantitativeeasing ran a cracker to finish second last year, Enda (Bolger) is very happy with him and hopefully he'll run a good race.

"Rum And Butter probably has his share of weight for what he's done, but hopefully he'll go well.

"It's A Gimme won the Summer Plate in Market Rasen well the other day. We'd probably prefer another week or two, but it's a big pot and it's worth a go.

"Wise Old Owl ran a cracker in this a few years ago, but he hasn't had much racing since. We're just keeping our fingers crossed for a good run.

"Jacksonslady is due to run tonight, so we'll see what happens there."

Vulcanite is one of two runners in the field for trainer Charlie Longsdon, with Grandads Horse also making the trip across the Irish Sea.

"Both horses got the ferry on Sunday night and arrived there yesterday (Monday) morning. They both seem happy and have settled in well, so it's all systems go," Longsdon told At The Races.

"He (Vulcanite) had a big dip in form last winter and he had a well-publicised wind operation around Christmas time last year. He's been a revelation.

"He has gone up 20lb in the handicap since his winning streak began, but he seems to be working nicely and may have a few pounds left in hand.

"I've said in the past he likes smaller fields, but there were 13 runners when he won at Worcester last time. One big question is the hurly burly, but he's on a massive upward curve and his confidence is sky high.

"Grandads Horse probably didn't quite get home (at Market Rasen last time).One thing we will do is hold onto him a lot more and I've taken the blinkers off him and put the cheek pieces back on.

"He too had a wind operation a couple of starts ago and that's definitely improved him, but he has probably done a bit too much the last two times.

"We're going to hold onto him a bit more and I can see him flying up the home straight at the end.

"Whether he's good enough is a different matter, but he's an experienced handicapper and he'll love the hurly burly."

Longsdon's pair, the Jonjo O'Neill-trained duo Rum And Butter and It's A Gimme and champion trainer Paul Nicholls' Caid Du Berlais make up the British challenge.

Adrian Maguire is hopeful stable stalwart Golden Kite can continue to defy his advancing years following his last-time-out victory in the Connacht National at Roscommon.

"He's a little superstar as far as we're concerned. He's won four Nationals, he's won 10 races overall and he's at the grand old age of 12," said the trainer.

"On his last run he won the Connacht National and he has a nice weight in the Galway Plate. It's a high-grade handicap and he'll be getting plenty of plenty of weight off the better rated horses.

"It's the summer time, it's good ground which he likes and he's a proper summer horse.

"I was very lucky to win two Galway Plates as a rider and to win it as a trainer would be more than special."

Ireland's champion trainer Willie Mullins saddles Terminal, Away We Go and Balnaslow.

Other contenders include Jessica Harrington's Burn And Turn, Henry de Bromhead's duo of Aupcharlie and Lord Ben and Jim Culloty's Cheltenham Festival winner Spring Heeled.

Jacksonslady is joined on the reserve list by Orpheus Valley (first reserve) and Usuel Smurfer (third reserve).

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