This weeks blog will focus on Galway and Glorious Goodwood primarily.Monday, we start at Galway for one of the best weeks of the year racing wise. the opening race of the festival was a novice hurdle.Willie Mullins had a heavy odds on favorite in Muthaza at 1/6. Cable built up a big lead , with Muthaza looking in trouble three flights out. Muthaza closed between the last two flights going away to win by 6 lengths. I suspect Muthaza is a very decent filly with the mares novice hurdle at Cheltenham an obvious target. The 2 mile handicap hurdle went the way of Shake the bucket who did it well from Lord de Beauful and Camlann. The two year old ,seven furlong maiden has been the property of Dermot Weld winning 4 of the 5 previous renewals prior to this. The race itself was a good contest as Courage under fire took the field along. Right Honourable for Dermot Weld tackled Courage under fire 1 furlong out. Right Honourable got on top going away to win by 1 and a half lengths from Brutal who mugged Courage under fire for second place on the line. I think the front three are decent horses who should go on to much better things. The seven furlong handicap went to Spruce Meadows who was well supported (7/1- 5/1) from Flowerhill Nova. It was a first Galway festival winner for up and coming trainer John James Feane.
The feature race the Connacht Hotel amateur riders 2 mile handicap is one of the highlights of the week. The race went to Swamp fox who was an impressive winner by 2 and a half lengths from Ted Veale (advised to our members 1pt each way 14/1), Benkei and Renneti finished third and fourth both ran well. Swamp fox has a nice mark over hurdles as well . I would reckon some of the Uk handicap hurdles next winter could be a target as well as races like the cesarewitch . The 1 mile 4 furlong handicap went to Motherland for Joseph Obrien who won by a staggering 17 lengths being really well backed in the process (7/2 - 2/1). I have thought Motherland a decent horse for a while. As a consequence Motherland was advised to our members 2pts each way (7/2).I think Motherland could be a stakes horse. The concluding bumper saw a first Galway festival winner for Jim Culloty as Electric Concorde took the bumper in good style from Robin Des Foret and Mindsmadeup who both ran well.
Tuesday, we start at Galway. the opening race was a novice hurdle . The race saw a fierce and a sustained gamble on Joseph O'Briens Oathkeeper (4/1 overnight - 13/8fav). It looked good for Oathkeeper until he got the last flight all wrong losing all momentum. The mistake of Oathkeeper opened the door for Master of verse and Penhill to nip through. It was a good finish which saw a half length and a half length between Penhill , Master of Verse and Oakhill. Penhill was winning for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh putting a bad run at Killarney behind him. Penhill was a smart horse on the flat it will be interesting to see what happens with this horse next. I certainly would not be giving up on Oathkeeper. The beginners chase saw the first boil over of the week as Talk to lingo took the race at 66/1. Briar Hill was second beaten a head, it was nice to see Briar Hill running well he has had a horrendous time. Tocororo ran well in third , I thought Draco ran well having been hampered a few times he can get a race soon. The fillies maiden over seven furlongs went to Dermot Weld with Eziyra who was really well backed (8/11 -2/5) by an impressive two lengths. Dermot Weld said it will be a group race next. The next race was a seven furlong maiden this also went to Dermot Weld with Sikandarabad by 3 parts of a length. Eziyra & Sikandarabad were advised to our members 3pts win double.
The feature race was the Colm Quinn BMW mile. This race went in breathtaking style to Creggs Pipes who was really well backed (14/1 overnight - 11/2 fav). Creggs Pipes broke well made the running dominating to win by 1 and a half lengths to claim a fourth succesive victory this season. The victory of Creggs Pipes was good news for our members who were advised a 1pt each way bet at (12/1). Top Notch Tonto ran really well for Brian Ellison who supports Galway very well with runners, Ellison also had the fourth and fifth placed horses in Stipulate and Baraweez. The seven furlong handicap went to Beau Satchel who landed some very tasty bets (8/1 -11/4) getting the better of Severus by 3 parts of a length. Beau Satchel was advised to our members 1pt each way at (8/1), completing a very good day for our members. There was a 2 mile flat handicap to finish it went to Water Sprite for Gordon Elliott who got the better of Artful Artist and Automated. This was remarkably Gordon Elliott's first winner at the Galway festival for five years.
Glorious Goodwood started on Tuesday, the opening 1 mile 1 furlong handicap went to Fire Fighting for Mark Johnston who beat Oasis Fantasy by a neck. The vintage stakes a group 2,for two year olds. The race went to War decree for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore, in impressive style by a length and a half to Thunder Snow. The Lennox stakes a group 2 went to Dutch Connection for Charlie Hills and up and coming jockey James McDonald. Dutch Connection ran out a ready winner by 1 and three quarter lengths from Home of the brave. The 1 mile 6 furlong handicap went to Elidor who dug deep to hold off the fast finishing Qewy, which was unfortunate for our members who had a 1pt each way bet at (8/1).
Wednesday, we start at Galway. I was on duty myself in Ballybrit with Baireoiri Na Gaillimhe(The Galway Hurlers network)for the afternoon as guest tipster. They were wonderful company as well as being a really good organisation for their members. I managed to pull my weight and earn my place on the panel which included Paddy Power. The opening race the maiden hurdle saw Silver Concorde trying to win a maiden hurdle. It was not to be yet again for Silver Concorde. The race went to All The Answers for Joseph O'Brien landing some nice bets (11/2 - 10-3) who looked a good horse in the process. Davey Russell claimed afterwards that the saddle had slipped on Silver Concorde. The Mares handicap hurdle went to Our Kylie for Brian Ellison who saw off Floral Fantasy and Give her Bach. The race was marred with incident as Sweet Cherry who was travelling well at the second last fell and brought down the well fancied Elusive Ivy in the incident. There was another dreadful incident Crystal Pearl who was moving into contention slipped on the home turn bringing down The Conker Club in an unpleasant incident. The good news was all the horses and jockeys got up. The 2mile 5 furlong handicap hurdle saw a monster of a gamble foiled in Sea Light (10/1 overnight - 7/4 fav). The race went to Plain Talking for Gavin Cromwell who moved through the race powerfully. Plain Talking got first run and Sea Light could not get to him under an ill judged ride by Davey Russell. The win of Plain Talking was good news for our members advised to our members 1pt each way (12/1). The 1 mile 4 furlongs amateur riders maiden saw a thrilling contest. The race went to Sweet Company under an inspired ride from Nina Carberry to land some nice bets (22/1 -10/1). Sweet Company saw off A Shin Kildare by a short head. Three Star General ran well for a long way he was a (2pt each way bet for our members at 4/1).
The Galway Plate was the feature race on the day. It was ultra competitive with Road to Riches going off 9/4 favorite, Road to riches was never a factor after early mistakes. The race went to Lord Scoundrel who moved beautifully through the race staying on well to win by 1 and a quarter lengths. The victory of Lord Scoundrel was great news for our members advised to our members 1pt each way (33/1) . Lord Scoundrel returned a SP of 10/1. The places were filled entirely by Willie Mullins trained horses , Alechoi Inois, Ballycasey and Devils Bride all ran huge races. Clarcam ran well in fifth as well. It is my view that this race once again demonstrates backing horses with over 11 stone in these type of races is very difficult to justify. The 1 mile handicap went to Millefiori for Adrian Keatley who held off Cairdiuil by a neck , with Lady Fandango and So Sensible running well in third and fourth. So Sensible advised to our members 1pt each way (9/1) there was a 10% rule 4 deduction on early prices. The placing of so Sensible along with Three Star General in an each way double made it a very good day for our members. The 1 mile handicap had a lot of non runners it saw Tony the gent win for Ger Lyons who just saw off Creme de la by a half length. The final race was a 1 mile maiden which went to Katiymann for Michael Halford who saw off the well backed Dermot Weld Newcross.
It was day two at Goodwood. The group 3 Beringlce stakes went to Ulysses who was on a recovery mission following his eclipse in the Epsom derby.Ulysses saw off The Major general by a half length. The feature race was the group 1 Sussex stakes which saw The Gurkha and Galileo Gold renew rivalry. The race went the way of The Gurkha who saw Galileo Gold by a neck with Ribchester a short head away in third. I thought after the race it was very hard to be certain about what would happen if The Gurkha and Galileo Gold clashed again. There is a nagging feeling for me with The Gurkha that he lacks something as a racehorse ,The Gurkha moves up impressively but when the button is pressed he takes a while to get going. The victory of The Gurkha advised to our members 3pts win (7/4) was good news nonetheless. The Molecomb stakes a group 3 for two year olds saw Yalta get the better of his stablemate The Last Lion by 3 lengths giving Mark Johnston a 1-2.
Thursday, we start at Galway. The beginners chase saw another boil over as Scamall Dubh ran out a 66/1 winner. The finish was a thrilling conclusion as Scamall Dubh, beat Marinero , Don't tell no one and Taglletelle by a neck , a head and a neck.The 2m 2 furlong novice chase went the way of Xsquared who won by 6 lengths from Hurricane Ben. Xsquared was completing a four timer. The 1 mile handicap was turned into a farce after the stalls were broken , meaning they could not be used rendering the draw useless. The race went to Total Demolition who won by 3 parts of a length from Marshall Jennings. The Corrib listed stakes was a good race Rayisa tried to make all the running however Rayisa was collared by Planchart late on who won by a half length. Rayisa had been a (2pts each way bet for our members at 7/2). The novice hurdle went to Willie Mullins as Bel Sas made all the running to win by 2 and 3 parts of a length from Champagne Harmony. Bel Sas could be a decent novice.
The Galway hurdle was up next worth a whopping €177,000 to the winner. The race went to Clondaw warrior for Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins. This was a tremendous piece of race riding from Ruby Walsh to triumph over Hidden Cyclone by a half length, Princely conn a reserve originally ran a cracker in third. There was also a return to form for Modem and Tigris river who were fourth and fifth. Clondaw Warrior is a very good dual purpose horse who could pick up another big pot before the winter. The 1 mile 4 furlong handicap saw a victory for Tara Dylan winning by a length and a half from Ondamoura and Camlann who was well backed and placed for the second time in the week. The concluding bumper saw another boil over with Poormans Hill at 50/1 who held Deise Diamond by a head.
It was day 3 of Glorious Goodwood. The Goodwood cup was the feature a group 2 where Big Orange was the favorite. Jamie Spencer abandoned his modus operandi as a jockey by making all the running. Big Orange and Swordfighter battled it out from a long way out. Swordfighter gave way in the last furlong. Pallastor and Sheikhzayedroad launched challenges but could not overcome Big Orange. Wicklow Brave stayed on well into fourth. The Richmond stakes a group 2 went to Mehmas who won by a neck from the favorite Blue point. The Lillie Langtry fillies race a group 3 went to California for John Gosden by a length from Tioga pass with Twitch back in third.
Friday, we start at Galway the opening handicap hurdle was very competitive. The race went the way of the favorite in Heartbreak city for Tony Martin and Donagh Myler. Heartbreak city was delivered late by Myler winning by a comfortable length from the well backed St Stephens Green. The slightly unfortunate horse was Mighty Concorde, David Mullins left it late and the other horses got first run. The other factor is that Mighty Concorde may just be a tricky ride as he finds winning hard, Mighty Concorde was advised to our members 1pt each way (9/1) SP 5/1. The future for Heartbreak city would appear to be races like the Ebor or the Cesarewitch. The two year old 7 furlong maiden was up next , the empire struck back in this race as Dermot Weld claimed it with Lost in Silence who won by a half length from Delegating.I thought the well backed Tenth Amendment showed plenty of promise moving up well having missed the break. Tenth Amendment then was forced wide on the bend , I reckon he is worth another chance. The Galway blazers is always a good handicap chase. The race this year went to On Fiddlers Green for Henry De Bromhead and Davey Russell(who to this point was having a dire week). On Fiddlers green was well backed (7/1-9/2 fav) obliging by 7 lengths. Aranhill chief who loves this race placed again with Knockanarrigan and As de Pique (advised to our members 1pt each way 10/1 SP 8/1) running well in third and fourth. I thought Sir Abbott ran well back in sixth, but for a bad mistake at the last may have placed.
The feature race was the Guinness Handicap over 1 mile 4 furlongs worth €59,000 to the winner. The race went to the well backed (6/1 overnight - 10/3 fav) Golden Spear for Tony Martin and Leigh Roche. Golden Spear won by a half a length from Abraham and a head to Ringside humour in third. The disappointment of the race was Alveena who seemed to hate the ground and wants it softer in my view. The victory of Golden Spear was good news for our members advised to our members 1pt each way (6/1). The 1 mile 6 furlong race was up next it was turned into a one horse race by the superb Ivan Grozny under Declan Mcdonagh who had a great week. Ivan Grozny bolted up by fourteen lengths once again showing the talents of Willie Mullins who has expertly placed this horse. Ivan Grozny has lots of options for the future also since he has started making the running he looks even better then he did when held up at Aintree. Ivan Grozny was advised to our members 4pts win (6/4) SP 8/11 ther was a Rule 4 deduction of 25% however. The 1 mile handicap saw one of the gambles of the week landed as Intrepid Prince bolted up by 2 lengths which could have been fifteen. Intrepid Prince was backed at all rates from (20/1 -7/1) , Leigh Roche had plenty of time to look at the big screen and ease down. Intrepid Prince is in at Naas again on Monday it will take an act of God to stop him on this evidence. The concluding 1 mile 4 furlong maiden went to Aidan O'Brien as Triplicate powered clear of Zulu Alpha to win by 9 lengths. The last bit of business at Galway for our members was Mighty Concorde (9/1) & As De Pique (10/1) advised to our members 0.5pt each way double, both placed in the 510 Galway& 615 Galway respectively. This completed a good day for our members.
It was day 4 at Glorious Goodwood. The group 3 Glorious stakes saw Kings Fete gain compensation for a luckless defeat at Royal Ascot, seeing off Ayrad by 3 parts of a length. Kings Fete was advised to our members 2pts win (11/4). The Bonhams stakes a group 3 over a mile went to the very consistent Thikriyaat who quickened up well to see off Forge. The Golden mile worth £93,375 to the winner went the way of the well backed favorite Franklin D for Michael Bell and Ryan Moore. Donncha advised to our members 1pt each way (10/1) placed in third. The King George stakes a group 2 went to Take Cover in a thrilling finish just holding off Washington DC. There was less then half a length between the first five home. Take Cover likes it here at Goodwood having won this race in 2014.
Saturday, we start at Galway. The opening maiden hurdle went to Jack the wire for Denis Hogan winning by 3 lengths from Black ace. Hogan claimed Jack the wire was a chaser in the making afterwards. The feature race was the Ladbrokes handicap hurdle worth €47,200 to the winner, it went in battling style to Westerner Lady for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh. Westerner Lady had to dig deep to see off Supreme Vinnie by a half length with Totalize a neck back in third for Brian Ellison. Plain Talking ran a cracker for the second time in the week to finish fourth.Westerner lady became only the second horse in 20 years to carry more then 11 stone 2 to victory in this race. The 1 mile two year old maiden went to Capri for Aidan O'Brien at (2/7). The seven furlong nursery was up next it went to Dermot Weld with Firey Speech seeing off Sir Edwin Landseer by 2 lengths.
The seven furlong handicap made it a double on the day for Denis Hogan . Tithonus beat the Galway specialists Cairdiuil and Beau Satchel , who were both running well for the second time this week. Cairdiuil was advised to our members 1pt each way (8/1). I would imagine Titonhus will be turned out again soon. The 1 mile 3 furlongs saw a boil over as Striking Gold won at (40/1) for Jessica Harrington and Colm O'Donoghue. The Concluding bumper saw Willie Mullins unleash another really good horse in Queen Deirdre who was an impressive 12 lengths winner. Willie Mullins stated the horse can only improve some statement, Queen Deirdre might be very good in that case.
It was day 5 of Glorious Goodwood. The opening race the Stewards cup consolation race went to Hoof it who was really well backed from (20/1 overnight -8/1) who saw Related off by a neck with the well backed Nuno Tristan back in third. The Class 2 Qatar handicap went to Dai Harraild for the inform William Haggas who saw off Sharaaoh and Move up by a short head and a head. The Nassau Stakes as expected was a cakewalk for Minding winning at 1/5. Minding will surely have a crack at the geldings and colts at some point this season maybe in the Arc. The feature race was the Stewards cup it went in good style to the thoroughly progressive Dancing Star for Andrew Balding.Dancing Star was well in command at the line from Orion's Bow who ran very well. The places were filled out by Raucous , Growl and Duke of Firenze who all ran blinders. The victory of Dancing Star was good news for our members Dancing Star was advised to our members 1pt each way (6/1). I enjoyed Goodwood, I had far less bets then at Galway , however I returned a profit of of 8.76 points at the Glorious Goodwood festival on our advised bets.
Sunday, it was the final day of Galway. The opener was a handicap hurdle which saw Camlann make it third time lucky for the week winning by 3 parts of a length from Afatcat with Dollar and dream back in third. This was a good training performance from Shark Hanlon to run Camlann for the third time in the week and to finally win. The 3 mile handicap was up next it went to Garri Rua who was involved in a great battle going to the last hurdle with the well backed Sea Light. It was a nightmare for Sea Light backers at Galway for the second time in the week as he crashed out at the last hurdle. Garri Rua came home a 6 lengths winner from Bye Bye O Bye. Tulsa Jack ran well in fourth. The 7 furlong Ahonoora handicap was the feature on Sunday with €59,000 to the winner. The race went to the well backed Dream Walker (10/1 -7/1) for Brian Ellison by a neck from Reckless Endeavour with Tribal Path a half length back in third. This was just reward for Brian Ellison who ran lots of horses here during the week. The At The Races Chase saw a few of the Galway Plate placed horses go again. The race went in facile style to Aleichi Inois for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh by 32 lengths at 4/9. Aleichi Inois ran a blinder in The Galway Plate on Wednesday , Willie Mullins stated afterwards he thinks Aleichi Inois is an Aintree Grand National horse.
The Galway Plate form was put to the test again in the very next race it was franked again. Devils Bride bolted up by 8 lengths for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh by 8 lengths. The field were strung out all over Ballybrit. Devils Bride will pick up plenty of these type of races. The 1 mile 5 furlong handicap was the next race up it went in good style to Tarazani , for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen. Tarazani had a length to spare over Ondamoura in second. The victory of Tarazani was good news for our members who were advised a 3pts win bet at (15/8). The 1 mile 3 furlong maiden saw a really well backed winner for John Oxx in the shape of Nonetheless (7/1 in the morning - 5/2). Nonetheless had a length and a half to spare over Remarkable lady.The concluding bumper saw an impressive winner in Mountain Rock for Adrian Keatley who saw off the well backed First Figaro (8/11) by 3 parts of a length. Galway ended with a new champion trainer for the first time since 1997,a trainer other than Dermot Weld topped the pile at Ballybrit as Willie Mullins claimed the top trainer prize. Willie Mullins success was remarkable even by his standards. Willie Mullins had 9 winners from 19 runners across 15 races, this is world class placing of horses. The total attendance for the Galway race week was 138,945 which was down 1,169 on last year’s figure of 140,114.The total crowd figure for Galway would probably have been higher than last year but for a wet day on Tuesday (attendance down 3,452). I was delighted with my own performance at Galway ,as I produced a 55 points profit on advised bets.