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S.A.S » Festivals 2017 » Ebor Festival 2017 » Galway Festival » 6 horses to follow at Galway

6 horses to follow at Galway

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1 6 horses to follow at Galway on Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:05 pm

Mike "Acesandeights"

Name Miles To Memphis
Age 8
Trainer Denise Foster
Target Connacht Hotel (Q.R.) Handicap | 2m | Monday, July 31 

What he's done This capable 122-rated hurdler seems to have enjoyed his couple of spins on the Flat with a lucky win over 1m7f at Leopardstown (horse in front ran out through the rails) followed by a smart performance in the Ladies Derby at the Curragh over an inadequate 1m4f.

His most recent hurdles run was also encouraging as he was beaten just over nine lengths by Plinth, who has since gone on to win the Grade 3 Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary.

Why he's worth following His jumping has been a major problem, so the fact that there are no obstacles is a major advantage. The sharp 2m around Galway should also aid his cause as he has the speed to win over 1m4f and the stamina to last 2m2f.

His handicap mark looks lenient, having gone up only 3lb for his recent Curragh success where he wasn't doing a stroke out in front for Lisa O'Neill. She is one of the best amateurs around and clearly gets on well with the gelding, which makes the amateur race on day one an ideal fit for them.

Name Tara Dylan 
Age 5
Trainer Thomas Mullins
Target Guinness Handicap (Premier Handicap) | 1m4f | Friday, August 4

What she's done A revelation last summer when she won three competitive handicaps in four starts in less than six weeks and climbed from a mark of 56 to 84. Her season tailed off slightly towards the backend but that could be put down to a long, hard campaign where she ran 12 times from February to November.

Her reappearance run at Leopardstown in mid-July was highly encouraging as she looked as if she would come on for the outing 
pre-race but travelled into the contest looking like the winner. As push came to shove, she didn’t pick up as you would have expected but she still ran to the line.

Why she's worth following She won at the festival last season when she really excelled over course and distance in a wide-open race. She will love the return to the hustle and bustle of a competitive Galway handicap, where she seems to come alive. Judging by the weights from last year, she should be close to bottom weight, which will suit this small filly.

This is a big step up in grade but looks to have been her target for a while and, with last season's improvement looking set to continue, she should be bang there at the business end.

2 Re: 6 horses to follow at Galway on Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:06 pm

Mike "Acesandeights"

Name Sandymount Duke
Age 8
Trainer Jessica Harrington
Target Galway Plate | 2m6f | 
Wednesday, August 2

What he's done A gelding with a real touch of class, he has relished the quick summer ground of late. He has won his last three races and is a previous winner at the festival, having landed a novice hurdle in 2015.

He has beaten high-quality horses in his last couple of chase starts, including Hidden Cyclone, and at Down Royal he bested Net D’Ecosse and Devils Bride when battling gamely all the way to the line.

Why he's worth following He will be one of the top-weighted horses in the Plate but that’s for a reason – he has a bundle of talent. He had a really good prep run for the Plate at Leopardstown on the Flat when winning easily under Kate Harrington.

The trip of two and three-quarter miles will be right up his street and his jumping is efficient, which will be important in such a competitive handicap. His season has revolved around this race and he should be primed to play a significant role.

Name Burgundy Boy
Age 2
Trainer Sheila Lavery
Target Galway Shopping Centre Irish EBF Nursery Handicap | 7f | Saturday, August 5

What he's done This colt by Red Jazz has improved with each of his three starts and most recently landed his first win at Roscommon. He finished fourth on his first two starts in two typically competitive Curragh juvenile maidens.

He was beaten 14 lengths by Verbal Dexterity first time out and followed that up with a promising run when four lengths behind next year’s 2,000 Guineas favourite, Gustav Klimt. He got his head in front in a weaker maiden at Roscommon when battling back impressively to beat Port Lions, the pair pulling six lengths clear of the third horse.

Why he's worth following He looks a decent performer in the making and, provided he is handed a fair handicap mark, he looks set to go well at Galway. He has enough experience to be able to cope with the undulations of the track and Sheila Lavery is capable of readying a horse for a big target.

His form stacks up with some of the better two-year-olds in Ireland and the hill at Ballybrit should play to his strengths.

3 Re: 6 horses to follow at Galway on Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:07 pm

Mike "Acesandeights"

Name Gustavus Vassa
Age 3
Trainer Andy Oliver
Target Tote Handicap | 1m | Thursday, July 27

What he's done A relative late starter to his racing career, this Equiano gelding has finished in the first three in each of his three starts. He made a winning debut, which is no mean feat in Ireland, and followed that up with second at Gowran Park and third at Roscommon.

He still looks raw and has shown signs of greenness in each run but it is clear he has a serious engine. He was beaten by two solid yardsticks last time in Jim Bolger’s Slaney Street and Aidan O’Brien’s Auckland, who both possess more competitive handicap experience.

Why he's worth following Having beaten a subsequent maiden winner on his debut and now with a couple more runs under his belt, Gustavus Vassa should be in peak condition to be competitive in a big Galway handicap off his mark of 86.

Andy Oliver has had to be patient with him and clearly holds him in high regard. There is a slight worry about the mile trip but his class should help him overcome that and the track should be ideal, given that he won at Down Royal last month.

Name William B
Age 6
Trainer Gordon Elliott
Target Handicap Hurdle | 2m5f | Wednesday, August 2

What he's done Formerly with Eddie Harty, this six-year-old has recorded  two convincing victories since joining Gordon Elliott. He was second on his debut at 40-1 in a Roscommon maiden hurdle but then showed next to nothing in five subsequent starts for Harty before his latest two wins for Elliott.

Why he's worth following It’s no secret that Elliott can improve horses and Galway has surely been the target for William B for a while now. Elliott has shrewdly been able to keep his handicap mark within the 81-123 bracket for this race.

Owner Philip Reynolds always likes to celebrate winners at big festivals (as we have seen with Mall Dini and Presenting Percy at the Cheltenham Festival) and he may well be able to enjoy another here. William B won at Downpatrick on his first start for his new trainer and that course is very similar to Galway, which can only be a help.

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