It's the third day at the Galway Races on Wednesday and that means one thing – it's Galway Plate day.
This year's renewal of the big race looks typically competitive. Indeed, every race on the card is a tricky puzzle. It won't be easy to find winners but any that do should get rewarded at a tasty price.
4.35 Irish Stallion Farms Mares Handicap Hurdle
A tricky opener. Call Me Dolly arrives here on a hat-trick. She was relatively weak in the market for both of those wins. Her win at Sligo came against a number of in-form rivals. She's tactically versatile, an accurate jumper and appears to try her heart out. Valentina Lady drops in trip here and she heads a long list of potential dangers.
Selection: Call Me Dolly 15-2
5.10 Tote Placepot Novice Hurdle
Off Your Rocco is unbeaten in two career starts. The form of his latest win in Killarney is probably the best on offer here and further progression seems likely.
Dark Voyager had proven disappointing over hurdles. But he looked to be getting the hang of things when bolting up last time out. He's greatly feared.
Selection: Off Your Rocco 7-1
5.45 Tote.ie Maiden Hurdle
This race represents a golden opportunity for Desir Du Large to open his account over hurdles. He has kept good company since joining the Joseph O'Brien stable. Lasparas could prove a fly in the ointment. He has lots of potential and represents top connections.
Selection: Desir Du Large 11-4
6.15 Tote Galway Plate
Mitchouka could represent a spot of value at current prices. He seems perfectly comfortable with the demands of a big-field handicap chase. He was probably a touch fortunate to win on his penultimate start at Leopardstown. That race worked out particularly well though.
Over his optimum trip, Mitchouka is probably still running off a workable mark. The Shunter is a worthy favourite. He keeps improving, and but for some sloppy jumping would probably have won on his last four starts. Assemble looks a lively outsider.
Selection: Mitchouka 25-1
6.45 Tote Handicap Hurdle
Dalton Highway recorded a Flat race victory at his beloved Curragh last time out. He has plenty of good Galway form to his credit. He's teak tough and jumps adequately. Summer Tide represents an in-form yard and he doesn't look overburdened on handicap bow.
Selection: Dalton Highway 4-1
7.15 Tote Handicap Chase
Winter Escape ran pretty well in last year's Galway Plate before winning in Listowel and he holds a class edge over most of his rivals here. A recent spin over hurdles should leave him spot on for this assignment.
Zarkareva was running on when brought down last time out. If enjoying more luck here, she rates as a credible contender.
Selection: Winter Escape 9-1
7.45 Irish Stallion Farms Mares INH Flat Race
Getaway Rua took a while to get the hang of things on debut at Punchestown. She stuck to her task well, and wouldn't need to step up all that much to take a hand here. If She Is Electric settles a bit better than on debut, she could get involved at a big price.
Selection: Getaway Rua 9-1
8.15 Tote INH Flat Race
It's probably significant that Patrick Mullins rides Merlin Giant here. This horse was well backed for a valuable sales bumper at the Punchestown Festival and he ran well that day. The form is largely untested but a repeat of that effort would likely see him go close here. Derracrin is the pick of the rest.
Selection: Merlin Giant 6-4
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