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Galway preview - Day 5

Updated: Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 22:35 | Comments

Galway preview - Day 5

The 2014 Galway Festival is in to its fifth day on Friday when the highlight is the €100,000 Guinness Handicap.

Artful Artist was a costly failure here on the opening evening and Tony Martin's five-year-old bumps into some bang in-form opponents now that he reverts to the level.

Panama Hat has won four on the spin and is now 36lb higher than when his spree began, while Strandfield Lady has a 5lb penalty after completing a brace at Leopardstown.

She denied Donnacha O'Brien a first winner on that occasion and Aidan O'Brien's 16-year-old son is on the top-weight El Salvador for his father now.

O'Brien Snr turns to his eldest son Joseph for Festive Cheer in the Guinness Race, and last year's Irish Derby third faces a fascinating opponent in the shape of the Dermot Weld-trained Forgotten Rules, who justified a short price on his debut in a bumper at the Punchestown Festival and impressed so much that connections have put him in the Irish St Leger.

Weld has struck with a couple of maidens already this week and will have high hopes for Massinga in the Guinness EBF Maiden after her pleasing second on her Roscommon introduction.

Similarly, her stable companion Bleu Ciel Et Rouge is expected to build on her Bellewstown second in the Guinness 17:59 EBF Median Auction Maiden.

A gelding operation has apparently turned Expensive Taste into a different animal and Andy Oliver backs him up quickly after Monday's victory in the Arthur Guinness Handicap.

The pick of the jumping action is the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase, in which Rivage D'Or attempts to go one better than he did in the Midlands National a couple of weeks ago.

Henry Daly's Rockiteer and the Fergal O'Brien-trained Me And Ben add British interest, while the action gets under way with Orgilgo Bay and Indian Icon taking each other on in the Guinness Handicap Hurdle at 5.10pm.

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