Jack Too Quick For Galway Hurdle Rivals
Thursday’s big handicap at Galway is the Galway Hurdle (4.45) in which a familiar name heads the market on 9/2 in Quick Jack.
Jack Is Back
Sent off favourite for the Chester Cup (runner-up), Cesarewitch (third) and Connacht Handicap at this meeting 12 months ago, which he won as 4/1 favourite, Quick Jack has built up a solid record in these races.
In other words, when Tony Martin’s Quick Jack has been supported for big handicaps, he usually goes close!
His runner-up slot in the aforementioned Chester Cup in May showed this 6yo retains his form, and runs off the same mark as when third in Cheltenham’s County Hurdle (2m1f, soft). Quick Jack looks sure to go well on Thursday, but some punters may feel there is value elsewhere, especially as Willie Mullins has some interesting entries.
That Man Mullins
Amongst them are the top-weight, Diakali (6/1), who has earned his place at the top the weights via some notable Grade 1/Grade 2 efforts, while his Grade 3 win three weeks ago (2m, good) shows him in top form.
Mullins also has the 6yo, Wicklow Brave (16/1), who easily won the County Hurdle at Cheltenham in March (2m1f, soft), and showed his wellbeing when fourth at Royal Ascot over a trip too far. The only concern is a 15lb higher mark than Cheltenham (153), which isn’t ideal based on past renewals…
Of the last 10 Galway Hurdle winners…
10 were 5-7yo’s
9 ran over 1m4f-2m last time
9 ran twice or more during last 90 days
8 were officially rated 135 or lower
6 won last time out
Winning Form Respected
The above trends show that last time out winners should be respected, which points up the chances of Dermot Weld’s Hisaabaat who won a small Q.R. race over 1m4f earlier this month. This 7yo is only 4lb higher than when fourth in this race 12 months ago and looks each-way material at 16/1.
Another who arrives with a last time out victory is the 10yo, Hidden Cyclone (7/1), who won a minor chase earlier this month (1m7f, good to firm). Considering he gets to race from a 20lb lower mark over hurdles – over which his record reads 5-6 – Hidden Cyclone has to make the short-list.
As for the Brits, then Nicky Henderson has Snake Eyes (14/1) entered, another last time winner, having won a novice hurdle at the Punchestown Festival in May.
Dan Skelton also has Stephanie Frances (16/1), who was last seen 105 days ago winning a Listed novice hurdle at Cheltenham, is improving and looks well weighted.
The final word, however, goes to last year’s winner of the race, Thomas Edison (8/1), who despite being 11lb higher than 12 months ago, and has been kept lightly raced for his defense of the race.
A tremendous renewal in store, and plenty of improvers who could step up to the plate, but the vote goes to Quick Jack, who won at last year’s meeting and loves these big handicaps.
*Prices correct at time of publication