A good draw is vitally important around Galway especially over 7f and with plenty of fancied runners drawn wide, Glow Worm appeals at an each-way price. Ronan Whelan is back on board having ridden her on her penultimate start and she is stepping back up in trip, off the back of a solid run at Navan last time when not beaten too far. Her mark of 68 looks fair given she was rated as high as 75 this time last year.
Horses that perform well around Galway usually return to run seasonal bests and this could well be the case with Emphatic. He ran two brilliant races in defeat last year at this festival, bumping into two extremely well-handicapped horses in One Cool Poet & Waitingfortheday. His front-running tactics are the key as he usually gets away in front and there are plenty of hard luck stories trying to come from behind at Galway.
He’s 1lb lower than those defeats last season and although he’s coming into this off a 250-day absence, his trainer John Larkin will have him spot on to try and go one place better now.
Dermot Weld is renowned for having winners at this festival and Centroid could provide him with another. He’s very unexposed having only had the four lifetime starts in two years, but he showed plenty of reasons to suggest that a win isn’t far away at Leopardstown last time when running on well from behind to snatch fourth over 1m 2f.
He steps up in trip now with cracking young apprentice Gavin Ryan taking a very valuable 5lbs off. He’s drawn in the box seat in stall 1, so there’s plenty to like in what looks a very winnable race.
A typically competitive renewal of the amateur’s race and here we’ll find my my nap of the day. Sharjah could blow these away with seemingly everything in his favour.
Top amateur Patrick Mullins takes the ride from stall seven, which could be crucial in the winning of this race. He had a nice pipe-opener at the Curragh last time when meeting interference at the wrong time before running on strongly to finish fourth.
He won the Galway Hurdle in 2018 and has since gone on to finish second in this season’s Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. That form over hurdles is by far the strongest on paper coming into this contest. Having had only had three runs on the level for Willie Mullins he’s still relatively unexposed on the Flat and could take all the beating.
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