Mick Fitzgerald: Get ready to rock with this 13/2 shot at Galway

Mick Fitz reckons Engles Rock (19.05) has the pace for the race on day one in Ballybrit.

Mick Fitzgerald


 Galway 17:20 2m Maiden Hurdle

The opening race of is a puzzle as lots of the top firms are represented here. Jessica Harrington’s Morosini beat a smart one of Willie Mullins called Forevos when getting off the mark at Ballinrobe for owner  JP McManus. He can get the better of Authorized Art for a stable in red-hot form.

Galway 17.55 2m Handicap Hurdle

Denis Hogan has four runners and must be bringing a huge team of owners to Ballybrit. I wonder will he have chosen the right one of his own to ride in this as his mount Morning Skye could be the one to beat. He’s blinkered for the first time and having run well at Sligo and Killarney, just needs to see it out a bit better to figure here. Tramore maiden hurdle winner, Dumhach Thra is not badly handicapped, so watch for market support.

Danny Mullins would love to ride a winner here for his mother.

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Galway 18.25 7f Maiden 

Aidan O’Brien’s Inisfree was second on debut at Naas and that form got a boost when the third placed that day, Free Solo, bolted up next time at Leopardstown. He looks like a typical Ballydoyle improver, gets the nod, but hasn’t been missed in the market.

Dermot Weld’s Shekhem shaped with a lot of promise on his debut and finished in eye-catching fashion. If there’s sustained support for him the odds-on favourite could be in trouble.

Galway 19.05 7f Handicap

Engles Rock is one that has a stand-out bit of form when finishing second to dual Guineas winner Hermosa here at the track last year. Tarnawa was third that day and is now rated 102. She has run really well on her last two starts and has the pace for a race around this tight track.

If you can’t hold your position at Galway, it’s like riding in a bumper car at the fairground.

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Galway 19:40 2m1f Flat Handicap

Mr Everest won the 2m November handicap off a a 5lb lower mark and will be there or thereabouts, but may not be sharp enough as he hasn’t run for a while. One to note is Shakespear’sgalley.

He was only 3/4 of a length in front of Legal Spin at the Curragh, but Tom Hamilton is excellent value for his 5lb claim, so he’s not that badly treated. There is a strong case to be made for the Willie Mullins runners. Just because Patrick rides Legal Spin doesn’t mean he’s on the best one as his weight dictates what he is able to ride.

The one I fancy is Great Trango, the mount of Jamie Codd who is a always a plus in these amateur races. He warmed up for this with a good run behind Peregrine Run nine days ago and was a good winner at this venue last year.

He’s a decent each-way price, Paddy’s paying five places and he gets the vote.

Galway 20.10 1m 4f Handicap 

Dermot Weld has gone for the head-gear to eek out a little more improvement for Switch Around. Her handicap mark  looks fair on what she has done so far, but the visor could bring about some real improvement to help her go and win.

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What do you think?