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The Aidan O’Brien-trained Anchorage looks set to go off as favourite in this opening race at the Galway festival. He was third on his debut at Naas earlier this month and this son of Galileo is one that you would expect to improve, so he’s one to keep on the shortlist. Meanwhile, Jessica Harrington’s charge Adonis finished behind Point Lonsdale on his opening outing, and you can be sure he will also come on quite significantly to get involved here.
However, the selection comes from the Dermot Weld yard, in the form of DUKE DE SASSA. This is a maiden that Weld has dominated in recent years, winning 10 of the last 18 renewals and Duke De Sassa holds some fancy entries in the Futurity Stakes and National Stakes later in the season.
Weld’s horses are also going well of late, particularly his two-year-olds and he’s had two juvenile winners in the last two weeks. Colin Keane rides too, which is another plus.
This is quite a competitive contest, but Dermot Weld doesn’t hold a good record in this race. He got Zumoradda in here, with Colin Keane onboard again. Meanwhile, Mother Country carries the topweight and to win on her most recent start at Naas. The form of that win has been franked since.
But, we’re going for CISCO DISCO, who is the only previous Galway winner in the field. He comes here on the back of two good wins, most noticeably at Listowel last time out. He takes on a couple of horses here who he managed to beat on that occasion. He represents Jack Davison and Oisin Orr, and he gets the nod here.
We got three previous Galway winners in this line-up, including Politicise – who will be popular for Aido McGuinness. But, we’re tipping the Willie Mullins-trained MR COLDSTONE, who is having his first run on the Flat for the champion trainer. He also runs in a handicap for the very first time here.
Most of us know Mr Coldstone from his run over hurdles, he was rated 124 and was thought good enough to run in Grade 1 company earlier in the season. Wayne Lordon is onboard, while Willie Mullins’ record at Galway just keeps on getting better as the years go by. It’s also significant that this is Willie’s only runner in this mile-and-a-half handicap.
What a race this promises to be. It used to be farmed by Dermot Weld, but in recent years Willie Millins has dominated the winners. Mullins’ entrants has managed to take three of the last four renewals of this race and he has also got a brilliant chance to win it again with six runners in the field.
Patrick Mullins, who has never won this race, rides Hook Up. Meanwhile, Jody Townend is on Exchange Rate. But, it’s another Mullins runner that I’m opting for in the day’s big race and that’s FOVEROS. He’s a two-time winner at Ballybrit and he comes into this on the back of a really good win at the Curragh on Guineas weekend. He’s also the mount of Aubrey McMahon, who has managed to win this contest twice in the past.
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