Galway Races Festival Hurdle Betting Tips, Predictions & Live Stream
The Galway Races summer festival is upon us and we have spoken exclusively to legendary jockey Robbie Power for his top tips and predictions.
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Robbie retired from horse racing after an illustrious career recently and took time out to give us a huge insight into Galway, including his pick for the Galway Hurdle. Read on below!
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I’m going to enjoy and miss the Galway Festival at the same time this year.
Galway is the next best festival after Punchestown and it’ll be the first time that I miss not riding because the buzz and atmosphere in Galway is unique and I used to love riding there.
Of course I’m going to enjoy it and there’s no better city to enjoy than Galway. There are so many spots during race week to enjoy. I can enjoy the restaurants and also Monroe’s pub.
There will be a great atmosphere there and I’ll definitely be there a couple of evenings during the week.
It has changed now. Galway was always the party week and we had some serious craic back in the day.
You’d always have a great time, but then breathalysers came in and our lifestyle had to change, so for the last ten years of my career I stayed outside of Galway to save temptation.
I used to drive in and out of Galway every day instead of staying there all week.
Life as a jockey at Galway differed every day because Monday and Tuesday are evening meetings whereas Wednesday and Thursday are more during the daytime.
Monday morning for me, I’d kick around at home before going to the gym and then head to the racing. You always have to give yourself plenty of time.
I know I was always in Galway an hour or two before the first race because of traffic and things like that.
It all depends on if you have to have a sweat before the races. Nowadays there are no saunas at the racecourse, so if the jockeys want to have a sweat, they have to do it at home.
Galway has more of a party atmosphere than Cheltenham and with crowds coming back after so long away, it’s going to be an unbelievable atmosphere this year.
Galway is the pinnacle of the summer. You haven’t been racing if you haven’t been to Galway.
It’s going to be an unbelievable atmosphere. We had it at Cheltenham with the return of the crowds and the Dublin Racing Festival. Galway will be no different, if not even bigger because the crowds will be massive.
It is up there as one of the best in racing. The reception a horse gets, especially after winning at Galway, is on the same level as Cheltenham.
Galway is a festival where a smaller team can have a big day. When you come back in on a fancied horse, the reception you get when walking from the parade ring to the winners’ enclosure is as good as anywhere – it’s unbelievable.
Galway play in the All-Ireland Final this Sunday and if they manage to beat Kerry, it’ll just be a party for the whole week.
I was unfortunate to ride at Galway when there were no crowds there and it just wasn’t the same at all. The crowd is everything to the Galway races and it’s great to have them back this year.
To win the Galway Hurdle or the Galway Plate was probably one of my first big successes that kick-started my career.
They’re both unique races to win and it’s very, very difficult to win both of them. I don’t think even Barry Geraghty has won a Galway Plate before.
It’s a bit like Cheltenham in the sense that you can have a bad season and a couple of winners at Cheltenham and it would be considered a good season.
If you get a couple of winners at Galway, then all of a sudden you’re having a great summer.
I always got a huge buzz from winning races wherever they were. Winning the Galway Hurdle on Tudor City in 2019 gave me one of the best feelings of my life because of the way I had to ride him and because Galway is a unique track, so that gave me an unbelievable thrill. It was probably one of the best rides of my career.
Winning the Hurdle or Plate are two of the biggest races you can win in Ireland and they give you huge satisfaction.
Winning two Galway Hurdles and a Galway Plate are up there with my biggest achievements.
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Flat v Jumps
It’s more unique now than when I started, because nowadays it’s usually either one or the other.
Flat and jump jockeys will be sharing a weighing room which is totally different to ten years ago. There’s always great banter between both sets of jockeys and it’s unique now because mixed cards are normally a thing of the past.
It gives Irish racing the edge as it’s an opportunity to get jumps and flat punters all at the same meeting.
On the flat, probably Billy Lee or Shane Foley are best placed to be the festival’s top jockey.
On the jumps, Jack Kennedy has had a fantastic start to the season and Gordon Elliott will have a lot of runners, so I’d say Jack would be a good bet over jumps.
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If I had one piece of advice for jockeys – you need to walk the track. It’s a unique track and a difficult course to ride.
It’s very sharp and you’re on the turn most of the time, so it’s important not to panic.
It’s a very long run from the last fence to the winning post and it’s a steep incline, so if things aren’t going your way, continue to be optimistic that a gap will open for you.
My Mate Mozzie has come down in the handicap and has won at the likes of Punchestown and Navan in the past.
It’ll be difficult for him to win the Galway Hurdle, but he’s super consistent and he’s certainly got a good each-way chance.
If I had a free hand to ride any horse in the Galway Hurdle, it’d be Santa Rossa. I’ve won on her before and she has good stamina and good pace.
She ticks a lot of boxes for Galway and I can see her running a big race.
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Dermot Weld was successful at Galway for a number of years, but I don’t think he has the same strength in depth as he used to five or six years ago.
Whereas Willie Mullins has been leading trainer there for the last couple of years and has a huge team, so I think Willie is most likely to be leading trainer again.
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