Horse racing tips: Ruby Walsh on Willie Mullins’ aces for the Galway Races

Get these in the tracker for the seven-day fiesta that starts on Monday.

Ruby Walsh


While there won’t be any spectators at this week’s Galway Festival, and it will be different from other years, we’re still going to be treated to some wonderful racing at the Ballybrit track for seven days from Monday.

Willie Mullins has been the leading trainer there for the last four years and is sending another strong team to the West of Ireland. Here’s 10 picks from his Closutton stable, that I’m most excited to see at the 2020 Galway Festival.

Note:  *Prices quoted for the Galway Plate and Galway Hurdle are Antepost odds (see bet widget) and these & intended running plans can change at final declarations. If your selection isn’t declared for the race, you lose your stake under Antepost rules.

1. SHARJAH – Monday 18.45

He’s now been declared to run in the amateur riders handicap (Connacht Hotel Handicap) on the first day of Galway. He ran really well when Billy Lee rode him at the Curragh over Irish Derby weekend. Sharjah ran a lovely race to finish fourth that day and his previous run before that was when he was second to Epatante in the Champion Hurdle in March.

He’s won a Galway Hurdle so we know he handles the track and since the Curragh, we’d be hoping that he’s improved fitness-wise. He’s got a really big chance and you’d imagine that Patrick Mullins will ride him. Of all of Willie’s runners at Galway, he’s the one I’m most looking forward to.

He’s the best horse we’ll be running all week and I’m a sucker for class!

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EASY GAME – Galway Plate Wednesday 18.45 

He’ll be one of Willie’s runners in the Galway Plate and while he’ll be carrying plenty of weight, he’s got some really good form in the book. He beat Allaho in his beginners chase and then finished second to Faugheen in the Grade 1 Flogas Novice Chase. That’s class form and he’s a second season novice and he’s won at the Galway festival in the past. Easy Game has been aimed at the race for a while and we couldn’t be happier with him.


He’s another who’ll run in the Galway Plate and he’s another who’s got winning form around Galway. He won a maiden hurdle there, which is always a plus, and the last time we saw him was when he won at Naas just before Cheltenham.

He’s a better horse going right-handed and he’s only got 10st 12lbs as it stands. That’s a lower weight than Easy Game has and he’s a much bigger price. He could be good value and at an each-way-price, I can see him running a big race.

GETAWAY GORGEOUS – Wednesday 16.45 & Thursday 19:15

She’s in really good form and she’s been working really well. The Listed two-mile novice hurdle on Wednesday looks like it could suit her and that’s a race Willie has a really good record in. She’s in really good nick and I think she’s improved since last season. She’ll appreciate the drier ground that she’s going to get and you’d like to think that she’ll run very well in Wednesday’s novice hurdle.


SAYO – Galway Hurdle Thursday 18:45 

Sayo didn’t make Monday’s race but is entered in the Galway Hurdle on Thursday. He ran really well in the apprentice derby at the Curragh last month when he finished second to Tonkinese. Sayo won his beginners chase at Galway, he’s a horse who probably didn’t excel over fences. That run over 1m 4f at the Curragh the last day was really encouraging and we think the way that he came home, the step up to two miles will really suit him. Wherever he runs, he’s one to keep an eye on.


He’s going to shoulder top weight in the Galway Hurdle but he was very impressive in winning the Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary. He beat Petit Mouchoir that day and his run before that was just as good when he was second to Saint Roi in the County Hurdle.

He’s now 4lbs higher than he was that day but he’s in really good form. It’s a hard ask giving plenty of good horses weight but he’s come out of his Tipperary run really well and he has top weight for a reason.


She’s worth a mention too in the Galway Hurdle as she won the amateur maiden at last year’s Galway festival. She finished two heads behind Aramon in the County Hurdle and yet, she’s now 4lbs better off with him.

She’s got one advantage over Aramon in that she’s won around Galway so we know she handles the course. She’s a big chance in the Galway Hurdle on Thursday.

JON SNOW – Thursday 19:15 

He’s currently got five entries so hold your bets, but the 2m 4f novice hurdle on Thursday might be his cup of tea. He’s still a novice so he still qualifies for that race and he’s had the benefit of a run on the Flat at the Curragh. He’s in good form and he’s definitely improved from his run a few weeks ago. If he lined up in that novice hurdle on Thursday, he’d be of interest there for sure.


He won in Kilbeggan last month on his first start for Willie Mullins, when Brian Hayes was on board, and that was his first run for a long time too. He’s improved from that run as well and he’ll have options over hurdles and fences throughout the week. He looks to be improving and he’s one to follow wherever he lines up at Galway.


We’ve a couple of options for the maiden hurdle on Wednesday and N’golo might be the one for that race. This is a race that I had a good record in for Willie over the years and while we haven’t had any horses run in maiden hurdles for a while, this lad goes well at home. He ran once in France and we’ve had him a while. He’s done plenty of schooling, he’s done a lot of work and he’s good and fit ahead of next week. He stays really well too so Galway will suit him.

* Prices on our snazzy new bet widget are bang up to date.

Note:  *Prices quoted for the Galway Plate and Galway Hurdle are Antepost odds (see bet widget) and these & intended running plans can change at final declarations. If your selection isn’t declared for the race, you lose your stake under Antepost rules.


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