Each-Way The Way To Go In Galway Hurdle
The second of this week’s big handicaps from Galway comes on Thursday via the Galway Hurdle (4.55) – a ferociously competitive event which has produced a couple of 20/1 winners in the last five years alone.
Interestingly, both the aforementioned 20/1 winners were 6yo’s, an age group which have now won five of the last seven renewals of this famous hurdle, in the process boding well for John Ferguson’s Dubai Prince (14/1), a winner of three of his seven hurdle outings. Two of those wins came during the spring, before a third at Aintree last month. He has a likeable, consistent profile.
Another 6yo is Dermot Weld’s Hisaabaat (16/1), who was a dual Grade 1 winner in 2012, but has slipped down the handicap since. He showed some sparkle in a 1m6f Flat race in early June, keeping on well into third, and is worth a look in the market beforehand.
Of the last 10 Galway Hurdle winners…
9 were 5-7yo’s; 6yo’s performed best
9 ran over either the same trip or moved up a maximum of 4f from last time
9 had 5 runs or fewer in handicap hurdles
7 had a career total of 6-10 hurdle runs
It’s always worth looking out for winners from earlier in the week here at Galway, and one who fits that bracket in 2014 is Tony Martin’s 5yo Quick Jack, who has been punted into 5/1 favourite since winning a 2m handicap here on Monday evening. Quick Jack was also well backed when last seen over hurdles in January, finishing third in the valuable Boylesports Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown, shaping as though he has a big handicap in him.
Martin also has one of the other leading fancies in Thomas Edison, who is available at 7/1 having warmed up for this via a victory in a valuable Flat race at the Curragh in May (1m4f, soft). Beaten 11l when fifth in a big Punchestown handicap hurdle prior to that, this 7yo will still need to improve upon his 11th placing in this race 12 months ago (heavy).
Also fancied is Gordon Elliott’s 5yo Bayan (7/1), who is 4-9 over hurdles, and was third in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham in March (2m5f, good). He teed himself up for this when well backed to win a 1m6f Flat handicap three weeks ago (soft), and it is easy to see why money has come for him once more.
Aidan O’Brien throws his hat into the ring via the 4yo, Plinth (11/1), runner-up in a Grade 1 at Punchestown in May (2m, good). This youngster gained compensation in a small hurdles event weeks later and has plenty of scope to improve.
Elsewhere, Jessica Harrington’s, Macnicholson (14/1) won a decent handicap hurdle at Punchestown in May (2m, good), before proving his wellbeing with a third in a 1m6f Flat maiden a few weeks back.
Darwins Fox (14/1) also showed good recent form when just over 1l second to Simenon in a Grade 3 Hurdle at Tipperary (2m, good) three weeks ago, and was a winner over fences at this meeting 12 months ago (2m, soft).