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S.A.S » Festivals 2017 » Ebor Festival 2017 » Galway Festival » Views from Ireland Day 1 Tips

Views from Ireland Day 1 Tips

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1 Views from Ireland Day 1 Tips on Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:08 pm

Mike "Acesandeights"

Richie Deegan can add his name to a list that includes many of the top Irish amateur riders of the last 50 years by winning the Connacht Hotel QR Handicap (7.40), the traditional highlight of the opening evening of the Galway Festival.

Deegan is a 7lb claimer whose name may not register widely outside Ireland, but his status belies a considerable depth of experience obtained in the point-to-point field where he rode 13 winners last season and is regarded as a highly competent rider. As recently as last Thursday, he rode a winning favourite in an amateur riders' handicap hurdle at Limerick. His claim should be a big help to the Colin Kidd-trained Rashaan in a typically competitive edition of the big race.

Aside from an aversion to left-handed tracks, Rashaan has been an excellent standard-bearer for Kidd's County Carlow stable, winning six of his 17 races over hurdles, including a Grade 2 at Down Royal last November, and three of his six starts on the Flat. He has got away with an aggregate rise of just 6lb for wins at Dundalk last winter and at Clonmel in the spring and arrives in fine fettle after beating the Willie Mullins-trained favourite Pique Sous in a conditions hurdle at Cork a couple of weeks ago.

Mullins saddles emphatic Killarney winner Lagostoveags with leading prospects, and last year's winner Swamp Fox also has a fighting chance after a hurdles win at Killarney. However, Deegan's claim is potentially a decisive asset in a handicap with a narrow weight range of only 12lb between top and bottom.

There is nothing a Galway crowd likes more than a winner with a local flavour and Pearl Of The West could deliver for the combination of local owner Martin Cullinane and Galway-born trainer Pat Fahy in the Eventus Handicap (8.10). The Teofilo filly beat a Dermot Weld-trained odds-on chance in a maiden at Gowran Park and on that basis does not look unreasonably treated off 80. She stays well, a major plus at this track, and may resist a likely challenge from Acclamatio, an untypically long-priced handicap winner for Tony Martin at Killarney.

Martin, who has established a fine festival record in recent years, can get off the mark for the week with course Flat winner Artful Artist in a handicap hurdle (5.55) in which which he was a beaten favourite three seasons ago.

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