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Tax For Max has been highly tried having run at the Cheltenham Festival in the Triumph Hurdle. He warmed up with on the face of it what was a disappointing run at Tipperary when a beaten favourite. He is the choice of Paul Townend and I’m sure Willie Mullins will have him primed for this.
Bleu Berry bolted up at Punchestown beating a better-fancied stablemate. He has been highly-tried over the years but has the best recent form and has to be the selection. City Island is an enigma. He beat Champ in the Ballymore Hurdle at the Festival a couple of seasons ago, but has disappeared off the face of the Earth in his last few runs. If he could find his form he would be the pick, but it’s a big if!
Fan De Blues is a strong traveller in his races and with lots of these trying to force the pace, it may fall into his lap. He made the running the last day but can sit in. Gin On Lime has been really impressive in her two wins and sets the standard, but has shown a slight tendency to jump left. Henry de Bromhead’s other one, Bold Enough, has to be respected but I have been really impressed with Gin On Lime and she gets the nod.
Cape Gentleman has done us a few favours already this season. I was keen on his chances at Royal Ascot but the race didn’t work out for him. He won a Grade 2 at Kempton before missing Cheltenham and disappointing in a handicap at the Punchestown Festival. This is a good horse and his handicap mark of 140, especially with Kevin Brogan taking 5lbs off, has to give him every chance.
Magic Tricks has to be respected with cheekpieces on first time. He had a good recent run on the Flat at Killarney which should put him spot on. Saldier is interesting even with a big weight. He won on the Flat recently and was a little unlucky at Ascot. He has been well tried over hurdles and is capable with Patrick Mullins on board.
Winner Takes Itall got a fair old hike in the ratings with that win at Bellewstown last time, but needed to go up to get in this race. Simon Torrens again rides but his handicap mark is now in line with his Flat rating. It doesn’t give him much wriggle room! Cheltenham and Aintree winner Belfast Banter has the right profile coming into this with big wins in the UK to his name. He will be competitive and is a solid pick, however I just think Cape Gentleman is well in off his rating.
Karakhan was a neck behind Highstreet Roller at Bellewstown so will not be winning out of turn. He’s had a couple of decent efforts to his name since going hurdling this season and this would be a good time to get off the mark. Trainer/jockey Denis Hogan rides.
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M C Muldoon ran a hell of a race at Royal Ascot on the Flat over 2m 4f to be second to Reshoun and he has already completed to a high level over hurdles. He was a little unlucky at Punchestown when third to El Barra and Get My Drift but can put it up to top-weight Bandbridge who looks the likely danger.
Emmet Mullins is using another good 7lb claimer to offset a rise in the ratings for Blackstair Rocco after he was a very easy winner at Down Royal and then ran a good race in a competitive handicap at Tipperary when a beaten short-price favourite. He’s a big chance for his shrewd connections.
In Willie Mullins we trust – especially in the bumper. He has two runners in it but it has to be Dads Lad. Patrick Mullins rides Dads Lad, who finished second here last September. He can go one better now.
Mick’s Thursday Galway picks
- Nassau Stakes runner-by-runner guide to Thursday’s Goodwood feature race
- Goodwood Results: Fast results from Glorious Goodwood 2021
- Galway Races live stream: Watch all of today’s renewals for free with paddy power