Galway Plate & Galway Hurdle Predictions From Bryan Cooper
We have Galway Plate and Galway Hurdle predictions from retired star Irish jockey Bryan Cooper with the Galway Races fast approaching.
The Galway Races is one of the biggest events on the Irish horse racing calendar and holds a special place in the summer racing calendar.
The two big races of the week are the Galway Plate and the Galway Hurdle. Here at BoyleSports we enlisted the help of Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning jockey Bryan Cooper to get a better idea on who are the big names to watch out for in the festival’s two most prestigious races.
Cooper also has plenty of experience racing at Galway so his insight here should be invaluable to horse racing fans.
Galway’s big two races
The prize money that is on offer for both the Plate and the Hurdle is very high, you also have the 2m6f Hurdle on the Saturday which is a Listed race now too, so there are three very competitive handicaps. Some trainers map it out for the year to win at Galway and it is very hard, trust me, I have tried a lot of times.
I was second in the Plate, second in the Hurdle last year, there’s probably a better type of horse running in them now than, say, ten years ago.
Galway Plate predictions
I like Kilcruit. Willie seems to target these races with his second season Novices and they have a great record in it, he did it with Royal Rendezvous two years ago and Balko Des Flos did it for Henry de Bromhead – they both had the same profile, winning at Punchestown Festival and then backing it up at Galway.
They were probably Graded horses in handicap company and if the ground is good in Galway, Kilcruit is a very nice racing weight.
Hewick is very much a fans favourite. Shark Hanlon has done very well with him and has given Hewick a worldwide tour at this stage, you’d probably find it difficult to find tickets if he went on tour for a meet and greet with Shark and Hewick.
I also like Final Orders. He fell in the Topham at Aintree but he had won six on the bounce prior to that, won on the Flat last time out at Bellewstown off a nice mark and Galway is a jumping track, if he gets into rhythm then he is a cracking each-way bet. Gavin Cromwell’s yard is flying at the moment as well.
Galway Hurdle predictions
It’s very competitive, probably more so this year than what it was last year. Sharjah is the standout but he will have to be very good to win it this year, he got turned over at Tipperary.
I like Merlin Grant for Emmett Mullins, I think he has been mapped out for this race since his run when beating me at Fairyhouse at the Drinmore meeting in 2022. His last two runs have been a bit disappointing, but the owner Michael Mee loves having runners at Galway and Emmett in these handicaps, you can’t forget about him.
It is also very interesting to see how Tony Martin has managed to get Tudor City back off the exact same mark that he won off last year. It’s a very impressive training performance, he won back on the Flat three weeks ago at the Curragh.
I’ll never forget last year that I got off him to ride Jessie Evans for Noel Meade, I was coming up the run in and I could see a horse in a fluffy noseband coming right behind me and chinned me on the line, lo and behold it was Tudor City.
I remember Tony saying to me that I was so silly to get off him because he knew he’d win. Tudor city does need dry ground though, that’s the key, proper good ground. We have had a wet couple of weeks here in Ireland so that could hinder his chances.
Zarak The Brave as well, he has shown some good juvenile form for Willie Mullins earlier in the year. It is a hard race though for four-year-olds. I do like Merlin Grant though, there is more left in the locker.
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*Prices Subject To Fluctuation
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