It’s Friday, August 4th, Day Five of the Galway Festival at Ballybrit.
There are eight mixed flat and jumps contests, running from 5pm – 8.40pm. It’s ultra-competitive, and there are plenty of entries.
It’s been a brilliant week as always and we’ve reached Friday, with just Saturday and Sunday to follow before the curtain falls on this huge party.
So many marvellous performances, and plenty still to come. Here’s three for today that we hope can get competitive. Good luck!
6.35 – Jackfinbar each-way @ 11/2
This one joined the great Willie Mullins in May from Ed Dunlop’s yard, and has had a much-interrupted career. Didn’t run at all between July 2019 and July 2023 – and then the 8-yr-old gelding ran a cracker to finish a close-up third, running on, in a Listed event just a few yards short of today’s trip a month ago.
To persevere and wait over such a long period speaks volumes for how the horse must be regarded, and joining Willie is another massive signal for me that albeit slightly late in the day, there are viable windmills to be tilted at.
The vastly-experienced Declan McDonough takes the mount, and as we’re paying FIVE places each-way, that’s the sensible option.
7.10 – Countess Of Tyrone each-way @ 15/2
Trained by Paddy Twomey and ridden by Billy Lee – as formidable a combination as you could wish to find. In common with a few in this field of maiden fillies she’s yet to see a racecourse though, but for me there’s still plenty of cause for optimism.
Yamalia Star has a Listed entry and some solid form (2 runs) among those that have seen the track before but the four that haven’t yet run are trained by Twomey, Dermot Weld, and a couple by a fella named Mullins. Willie, even.
So – the market suggests the big gun stables running newcomers are where the winner could well come from, and I’m going with Billy Lee, a fantastic talent, to do the business.
Countess Of Tyrone is by Epsom Derby winner Australia, and there’s some Pivotal influence on the dam’s side – and we know they love to get their toe in. Should be a fascinating and informative heat, and at a cracking price I’m going each-way.
8.10 – Dawn Rising @ 9/4
One of my favourite horses in training after winning for us at Royal Ascot in the closing Queen Alexandra. Ryan Moore was simply magnificent on the 6-yr-old gelding, trained by Joey O and owned by JP McManus.
Joseph O’Brien took the horse from father Aidan just over a year ago and whether it’s novice hurdling or staying contests on the flat he’s conjuring up some superb performances from this handsome son of the mighty Galileo.
Dawn Rising was gameness personified at Ascot for Moore, finding and finding again for him up the straight. McDonogh again now rides one of our big hopes, with Ryan at Goodwood. Very hopeful that the shorter trip of 1m 6f won’t inconvenience him as he didn’t look short of pace through the race at Ascot.
We’ve still got the weekend to go, but in the meantime have a cracking Friday at Ballybrit. Good luck!