Galway Races 2017 Day 1 Betting Tips – Niall Cronin
The competitiveness of the opening day feature of the Galway Festival sums up what is to come for the rest of the week.
Elliott on Auto Pilot
With numerous champion amateur titles, Grade 1 winners over hurdles, fences and in a bumper, Cheltenham winners and all, there’s not much left for Patrick Mullins to tick off the bucket list but the big amateur race at Galway is one of them.
Mullins, Katie Walsh and Jamie Codd are all the big names riding in the feature race on Monday who have yet to claim this race and all will fancy their chances with good rides but it is Codd who is given the nod on Automated (8/1) for Gordon Elliott.
Automated, like Hidden Cyclone and Rashaan, is a highly rated jumper who can mix it on the flat and drawn in 20, he is going to need plenty of luck in running, but given that he normally comes from off the pace,
Automated is trusted to finish well in a race that is sure to have plenty of pace.
Rashaan is a great order at the moment and has the valuable Richie Deegan claiming 7lbs off. He is a worthy favourite but Elliott is a master at plotting a path to these big pots and you have to feel that this has been the plan for some time for Automated.
He gets in at the bottom of the handicap and was an impressive winner, albeit in lesser company at Leopardstown the last day, but that win insured him getting into this race and there looks like there’s still more to come from Automated both over hurdles and on the level.
Irregular money should be noted
The EasyFix Handicap Hurdle has a full field of 20 runners but only 6lbs separating the top weight and the bottom weight in a very compressed handicap.
One of them will have to step up and prove to be a shade above the handicapper and 13/2 shot The Irregular could be that horse.
The Irregular is a horse that makes plenty of appeal and with rain forecast and the possibility of the ground getting softer, that is a further positive for Denis Hogan’s charge.
The horse had his first run since March when lining up in a flat maiden last month but that was a perfect pipe opener for this week and prior to that he has had a couple of runs over fences but Hogan probably sensed a good opportunity to exploit his mark of 106 and he gets a confident vote in a trappy race.
Winning return for Geraghty
Barry Geraghty makes his long awaited return to action for the first time since Easter Monday today and Le Richebourg (4/5) should make sure he comes back with a winner.
The four-year-old didn’t quite manage to get off the mark in two bumpers but the horses that beat him, Red Jack and Debuchet, are horses that we’ll hear plenty about in the winter months and there was no disgrace in those runs.
Since going over hurdles Le Richebourg has won twice at Killarney and he has been pretty faultless. He is fully expected to justify favouritism in the opener for Joseph O’Brien and JP McManus and end the Willie Mullins dominance in this race as the champion trainer is going for four in a row with Nessun Dorma.
Le Richebourg (4/5) – 5:20 Galway
The Irregular (13/2) – 5:55 Galway
Automated (8/1) – 7:40 Galway
*Prices correct at time of publication