Galway Races 2017 Day 3 Betting Tips – Niall Cronin
Gigginstown’s off track affairs can often provide us with some interesting stories if nothing else.
Phil your boots
Today, in the feature Galway Plate, there could be another twist in the script as the recently sacked Bryan Cooper dons the maroon and white colours again, surely keen to prove a point.
The Galway Plate wouldn’t be the Galway Plate if it wasn’t ultra competitive. You could sit down with pals and make cases for at least half of the field and still not pick the winner.
Although, on a day when ex-Gigginstown number one, Davy Russell, looks to have the first preference of the Gigginstown runners, it could be the most recent ex-retained jockey, Bryan Cooper, who is celebrating a sweet success on A Toi Phil (14/1).
Cooper, interestingly elected to wear the the first colours of the owner, hasn’t always had fond memories of the Galway Races, but this would be some way to ride your biggest winner of the week and as Gordon Elliott has proved time and time and time again, he possesses a formidable knack to winning big pots such as this.
A Toi Phil wouldn’t have a dissimilar profile to last year’s winner, Lord Scoundrel (14/1), and being just a seven-year-old, he is still open to improvement and possibly most importantly, won’t mind if the heavens open such as the forecast suggests.
A Toi Phil won a Leopardstown Chase and has ran with credit in a Grade 1 even though that is not his level, and when you consider he is only getting 4lbs from Shaneshill, that could lead you to think that Shaneshill (7/1) could win this race on the bridle given his history in Grade 1 company.
A Toi Phil looks a more hardened campaigner for this sort of race where they’ll go a good clip.
It’ll get tight and you’ll need to know what the hustle and bustle is all about. He certainly did at Leopardstown last January and could just be set to run a big race for the big team.
The rain could be a factor for the other two selections at Galway, The Birdie Crowe (13/2) in the Mares Handicap Hurdle and Bayan (11/1) in the last.
Bayan ran with serious credit on his first run back from injury last time and if anything near his best and coming on for that run as you would expect him to, he surely has to have a squeak running in a compressed 55-80 handicap where the top weight is rated 80 and the bottom is 69.
He’ll need most things in his favour though as Elliott thinks he may still need the run but given he was 150 for his last hurdle race and reached 87 on the flat, don’t ignore him.
The lack of handicap experience and the possibility of softer ground are the only worries for The Birdie Crowe who will exploit her mark of 112. That just looks very lenient for a two-time bumper winner who has been second and won her only two starts over hurdles.
The decision to start off in mares only company was a very good one and with the highest rated being just 118 she isn’t thrown in against mares that are way above her level and with a bit of luck in running she should prove difficult to deny.
The Birdie Crowe (13/2) – 3:50 Galway
A Toi Phil (14/1) – 5:35 Galway
Bayan (11/1) – 7:20 Galway
*Prices correct at time of publication