5.20 Galmont.com & Galwaybayhotel.com Novice Hurdle
Easy Game may not have had a great deal to beat at Killarney earlier this month but his was a stylish victory and, Ruby Walsh returning from injury to steer the likely favourite, he is hard enough to oppose. An €80,000 purchase from France, the form has worked out nicely from Killarney, and he gives the impression that reverting to this type of distance will be no issue for him.
There are some viable each-way alternatives to Willie Mullins’ steed, including stablemate Cool Colonnade, who steps up markedly in class after cruising to victory at Sligo. Blinkers may bring about a bit of improvement from Count Simon, but his rating of 120 probably renders him a little vulnerable in a race such as this. Devil's Glen cruised to victory at Tipperary and certainly comes into it for Alan Fleming.
Selection: Easy Game 6-4
5.55 Easyfix Handicap Hurdle
The evolving relationship between JP McManus and Barry Geraghty is reflected in the latter not riding either of the former's runners here, but Storm Rising – which has a chance – for Denis Hogan.
McManus has two runners here and Act In Time, with Jody McGarvey aboard, is really interesting. His victory for Christy Roche came in a maiden hurdle last year, Line Out second. Roche's son Padraig has since taken over the steed's training and it is notable that he and McManus landed a gamble at Ballinrobe last week with a horse also running for the first time in 2018. He could well be another gambled-on scorer here.
Ange D'Or Javilex is having his first start here for Gordon Elliott. Seemingly difficult to train, he needs market monitoring.
Selections: Act In Time 16-1
6.25 Claregalwayhotel.ie (C & G) Irish EBF Maiden
Dermot Weld, a 6-1 shot for top Galway trainer with Willie Mullins 1-2 and Joseph O'Brien 2-1, has almost single-handedly brought up the standard of this, a race he has won nine times since 2003. With Aidan O'Brien's Mount Tabora potentially vulnerable on the soft terrain, Weld's Third World makes ample appeal.
A son of Dansili, he was weak in the market despite some racecourse chat recently at the Curragh, yet he shaped with plenty of promise. On that form alone he will struggle to beat Mount Tabora, but the prevailing terrain likely gives him every chance of reversing the form.
A strong each-way case can be made for Wargrave, a Galileo colt well-fancied on debut and who can surely only improve for the new distance. The dam, Scream Blue Murder, was a hardy and classy daughter of Oratorio.
Selection: Third World 3-1
7.05 Claytonhotelgalway.ie Handicap
Weld’s record in this race is decidedly ordinary but he may strike a quick-fire double. Tashman could provide the yard with another winner here.
The visored son of Excelebration has his first start of the campaign but Weld had some useful entries here and is seemingly happy with the well-being of the Aga Khan's horse. It is hard to know what his trip is but the then-juvenile's second at Tipperary last year was probably enough to render him good enough to win a handicap off 74.
However, Dance Emperor looks the value at 14-1. His draw is not favourable in theory but a strongly-run 7f may be ideal for this consistent sort, who is also visored for the first time.
Selection: Dance Emperor 14-1
7.40 Connacht Hotel (Q.R.) Handicap
There was plenty of chat on social media last night about the prohibitive price at which Limini was put in by the bookmakers here – but it is hard to blame them.
Speaking recently, Patrick Mullins mentioned this as a race that he would like to win but has so far failed to achieve. A draw of nine is no apparent issue for Limini, whose claims are pretty obvious.
While she has not run on the level in over 500 days, the daughter of Peintre Celebre – running in Rich Ricci's famous colours – has gone on to prove herself a high-class hurdler. She was last seen touched off in third in the mares' hurdle at Cheltenham when a 6-4 favourite, and Mullins' record with staying horses on the Flat is nothing shy of sensational.
Also, a fair case can be made that she is well-handicapped. On her most recent Flat run, she beat Manatee readily enough at Chateaubriant. Given what that horse went on to do – winning a Group 2 and not beaten far in a Group 1 – Limini could be thrown in off 89.
Gordon Elliott has had a modest start to the jumps campaign by his standards, and he does not necessarily target Galway, but Batts Rock has to be feared after two victories and in rider Lisa O'Neill he has one of the main assets in the race.
Selection: Limini 7-4
8.10 Eventus Handicap
This is perhaps the toughest race on the night. Flindt probably needs a bit of ease, like most Most Improved progeny, and he could be value at a big price. He is well-drawn, should enjoy the hill and remains open to progress.
Subjudice is very well-bred and was not disgraced at Leopardstown last time, with more progress possible.
Maze Runner should stay this trip, even though he has to prove that he stays on form. He was well-fancied last time, if a little disappointing.
Selection: Flindt 14-1
8.40 Monami Construction Flat Race
Derek O'Connor has been booked by Emmet Mullins to steer Zero Ten, not seen in a year. His last run was a respectable one when fading into sixth in a Galway in this very race. Perhaps the promising young trainer can bring about a bit of improvement.
Purchased for €130,000 after a point-to-point success, Royal Rendezvous is sure to have plenty of supporters here, while Bythesametoken is really interesting at a big price too. He flopped for Eddie Hales on his only start at Naas, one of Fame And Glory's first runners at the track, but he is probably much better than that.
Selection: Zero Ten 12-1