The week long Galway racing festival kicks off this coming Monday. Fortunes will be won and lost over the course of the seven days, as punters and bookmakers lock horns, in a battle to the death.
Patience is the key to making money next week, and with over forty races to invest in, those that keep their power dry, and stick to a few selections, are the ones that will finish in front. As ever, Dermot Weld is the man that bookmakers fear, and countless multiple bets will revolve around his representatives. For the last few weeks a number of Rosewell House inmates have caught the eye in their races, and these will all be short priced favourites for their respective engagements next week. Jayden Jidan, Backdrop, Bush Pilot and Acting Talent all fall into this category.
The Weld stable also throw in the odd bigger priced winner, and Majestic Concorde is certainly worth a second look in the Plate. He will be well forward following a spin on the flat recently, and is one that may have slipped under the radar in the big race on Wednesday. Mossey Joe and course specialist Carlingford Lough, are others that catch the eye in that event.
Cork trainer Michael Winters won the Galway Hurdle with Rebel Fitz last year, and he is back in 2013, with the classy mare, Missunited. Despite disappointing on a recent start on the flat at Roscommon, the Vanessa Hutch owned mare is one of the best backed and leading fancies for the race. If she can get an easy lead up front, she will take plenty of catching, particularly if there is some cut in the ground. County Hurdle winner Ted Veale is another that can make his presence felt, while Drive Time is also a leading contender.
Jim Culloty has made giant strides in his training career this season, winning at the Cheltenham Festival, with Lord Windermere. He heads to Galway with a couple of leading fancies in Cry For The Moon and Spring Heeled. The pair will not want for anything when it comes to fitness, and the former will attempt to go one better in the two mile handicap on the opening night, having finished second in each of the previous two renewals. Call Me Bubbles, from the Willie Mullins stable, is another that will be strongly fancied in that particular contest.
A leading apprentice rider often claims the honours at Galway, and this year, Connor King is the standout young jockey. The Cork man has been carrying all before him in recent months, and anything that he rides next week should be given a second glance. A claim around the tight Ballybrit tack is a huge advantage, and King is far and away the outstanding claimer in the country at the moment. Of the more experienced jockeys, Pat Smullen and Robbie McNamara lead the way. The duo have a tremendous record around the track and will be among the winners next week.