One of the better weeks to be stuck at home. Galway and Goodwood on the box. Almost enough to distract a man from the torment of not making my annual pilgrimage to the west. Almost. I will concentrate my tipping energies on Galway. The ground is currently soft. Drying conditions mean we’re probably looking at yielding ground for Tuesday’s card.
Meaningful Vote is another horse keeping the handicapper busy. He attempts to shrug off a 12lb hike in the three-year-old handicap at 6.15pm. I think this horse is up to the challenge. He hasn’t looked back since winning on handicap debut at this course last October. He was second to the well-handicapped Sonnyboyliston on his seasonal comeback in Gowran. He subsequently beat the well-handicapped Fame and Acclaim in Naas. He stayed on with real gusto in both races. The extra 120 yards here looks like a positive. We know he likes digging in the ground, and handles the track. A mark of 90 is no joke but he’s entitled to it. Further progression seems likely. If the Vote can find some, he will prove hard to beat.
The Colm Quinn Mile at 6.45pm is the feature. As you might expect, it looks very tricky. Paddy does at least sweeten the pill with an extra place. Perhaps Big Baby Bull can defy the handicapper and land another big pot. This horse remains relatively unexposed. He was a promising sort for Richard Hannon last season. Denis Hogan bought him, gelded him, and gave him a wind op. The horse has certainly responded well to something. After a promising comeback at Leopardstown. he progressed to land a premier handicap in the Curragh. He was most impressive despite running about in front. We can probably put that down to inexperience. The step up to an extended mile shouldn’t cause much bother. He should get a lovely tow into the race. He beat a subsequent stakes winner on easy ground in England. Everything appears in place for a good run, at an each-way price.
Nam is worth a tickle in the handicap at 7.45pm. He’s a tricky horse to win with. Perhaps the hustle and bustle of a big field Galway handicap will allow Shane Foley to get some cover, and produce Nam late. I backed the horse last time out in the Curragh. He travelled like a dream but didn’t find much. Maybe the trip stretched him. Maybe he saw too much daylight. It wasn’t a bad run either. The first and second that day look progressive types. He had previously caught the eye on his seasonal comeback in Naas. Perhaps he’s a horse who will always please the eye but disgruntle the bank manager. I’m prepared to give him one more chance.
A stayers handicap closes the card at 8.15pm. Jaime Sommers arrives here off the back of two second-place finishes over hurdles. Those runs suggest she is well handicapped on the flat. I’m a bit worried that she’s just more effective over obstacles. She put in a pretty solid shift on a recent flat start in Bellewstown though. This race should provide a taxing stamina test. Jaime is a doughty stayer. The five pounds that Gavin Ryan takes off can’t hurt either. I expect a decent run at rewarding odds.
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Brendan Duke’s tips summary
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