The annual Galway bacchanal kicks off on Monday. It won't be easy for the owners, plus a thousand paying customers to generate huge atmosphere in such a capacious venue. They will no doubt have a decent stab at it, mind you. There are a few showers around. It seems unlikely they will make much material difference to the going. Expect the ground to ride quick.
4.10 Claregalwayhotel.ie Maiden
Anchorage showed understandable signs of inexperience on debut in Naas earlier this month. He ran pretty well in the circumstances and should be more streetwise here. This track is a daunting proposition for any newcomer. With plenty of them in here, I Am Magic rates the greatest threat to the selection.
Selection: Anchorage Evs
4.40 Claytonhotel.ie Handicap
Li Mu Bai looks to be getting the hang of things. He was still a bit wayward up the straight last time but beat a solid yardstick snug enough in the end. He's well drawn, and should get a nice position in a race that promises to be truly run. Mother Country's latest win is working out well. This trip is probably on the sharp side but it would come as little surprise were she to make class tell.
Selection: Li Mu Bai 11-2
5.15 Galwaybayhotel.com Handicap
Royal Pippen has put in a couple of solid shifts of late. He ran well in a much higher grade than this on his penultimate start and didn't have much luck last time out. Those runs were over a mile but this horse has the cruising speed to lie up at this shorter trip. Fridtjof Nansen is hard to win with and probably in the grip of the handicapper. He should go close all the same.
Selection: Royal Pippen 15-2
5.45 Easyfix Handicap
Mandarin has a tendency to miss the break. That's not ideal. He did run pretty well in a higher grade than this on debut for Joseph O'Brien earlier this month in Fairyhouse. This step up in trip rates a positive and he should get a decent pace to aim at here. Stablemate Merroir looks sure to run well.
Selection: Mandarin 12-1
6.15 Connacht Hotel Handicap
Run For Mary hasn't had the luck of the draw. That wide berth aside, she looks to have plenty going for her. She was second to a subsequent Group One winner in the race last year. She runs off the same mark in this year's renewal and comes here on the back of a pretty comfortable win last time out. Zoffanien is another with a wide draw to overcome. He does appear favourably treated by the weights though.
Selection: Run For Mary 7-1
6.45 Eventus Handicap
Citronnade looks fairly treated on her handicap bow. She lost a race in the stewards room on her penultimate start. The ultimate winner that day has advertised the form in handicap company since. Citronnade made no mistake when bolting up last time out in Killarney. Her prominent run style should be an asset around this track. National Ballet is another handicap debutante who could be underestimated by the assessor.
Selection: Citronnade 7-1
7.15 Monami Construction Maiden
Zero Ten was a bitter disappointment on his only run on the Flat to date. It's only one run though. He should have too many gears for the opposition here. He holds a Galway Hurdle entry later in the week so fitness shouldn't be a concern. Anner Castle looks sure to improve for this step up in trip. Duffle Coat would be of obvious interest if getting in as second reserve.
Selection: Zero Ten 2-1
Watch live coverage of the Galway Races on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player from Monday to Thursday from 5pm.