Monday, we start at Galway. This weeks blog will focus on Galway and Goodwood primarily. The well-backed favorite Linger (3s into 9/4 fav on course) stormed clear to win the second race of the opening evening at Galway, the Easyfix Handicap Hurdle, by six lengths. Joseph O'Brien will turn this horse out again this week for sure. As expected, the market principals Innisfree and Shekhem fought out the finish to the 2-y-o maiden at Galway, and indeed nothing else landed a blow. Innisfree getting the job done for Aidan O'Brien. Jody Townend, sister of champion jockey Paul Townend, swoops through aboard Great White Shark for a fairytale victory in the day-one feature, the €120,000 Connacht Hotel Handicap for the amateur riders at Galway. It was another win for Willie Mullins in the race. Neverrushacon advised to our members (0.5pt each way) 16/1 placed in the race (fifth Special).
Connections of Swamp Fox who lost that star horse recently had cause to celebrate as Galtee Mist captured the Seven-furlong handicap. Syrena advised to our members (1pt each way) 7/1 placed in the race. Halimi got on the board for Jim Bolger seeing off Millswyn in a thrilling finish. Millswyn was advised to our members (1pt each way) 6/1.
Tuesday, we start at Galway. Trading Point did us proud last night at Galway. Trading Point got to the front fighting very hard for a position from his wide draw. Trading Point turned into the straight in the lead, for a long way up the straight it looked like the fairytale might just happen. Trading Point gave way in the last furlong, having been carried out on his shield. The underlying feeling was extreme pride. Trading Point gave us the thrill of a lifetime, we are delighted to have him back. We look forward to the rest of the campaign with Trading Point. We had a lovely few moments prior to the race as Pauric Owens from RTE dropped over to us spending the parade ring time with us. Pauric did the feature on us at Galway last year for RTE racing. It was great to see Pauric again. The race itself went to Saltonstall who hit the jackpot to land the Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap, the feature race on day two of the Galway Festival. congratulations to Adrian McGuinness and Colin Keane.
It was a great punting night for our members. Zero Ten 555 Galway (3pts win) 8/11 won the beginners chase although he could have jumped better. Rita Levi 705 Galway (1pt each way) 7/1 won the maiden. Well backed, Colin Keane was seen to brilliant effect making it a double on the night. One Cool Poet 810 Galway (1pt each way) 8/1 won the one-mile handicap traveling superbly throughout. Our own Mokhalad's form was boosted in this race as Emphatic second here was second to Mokhalad at Bellewstown. Beckwith Place 840 Galway (1pt each way) 9/2 placed, has to go down as a very unlucky loser beaten a nose rattling home however Make a Challenge got the verdict.
At Goodwood, Stradivarius strengthened his grip on the staying division with a third successive victory in the Qatar Goodwood Cup. Stradivarius had to fight for it winning by a neck from Dee Ex Bee. There was a brilliant winner of the Vintage Stakes in Pinatubo for Godolphin. The Lennox Stakes went to Sir Dancealot for David Elsworth.
Wednesday, we start at Galway. Borice bagged another major prize for Gordon Elliott with victory in a thrilling renewal of the Galway Plate. Black Corton got messed around by the loose horse on the run-in. Snugsborough Benny advised to our members (1pt each way) 12/1 (placed third for us ). Buildmeupbuttercup bolted up for Patrick and Willie Mullins. The heavily-backed favourite, Ilikedwayurthinkin (11/4 to 2/1 on course, as big as 11/2 in the morning) ran away with the Tote Proud Sponsor Of The Galway Races Handicap Hurdle for Gavin Cromwell and Darragh O’Keeffe. Jp McManus getting an old fashioned proper punt. Bercasa for the father-and-son team of Tom and David Mullins was always close to the pace in the Sign Up For A Tote Account Irish EBF Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, and she asserted off the home turn to run out a comfortable three-and-a-half length winner. It was good news for our members as Bercasa was advised (1pt each way) 14/1.
At Goodwood, Too Darn Hot continued his resurgence with victory in the Qatar Sussex Stakes. Mark Johnston equaled the record for career winners at Glorious Goodwood with a double on day two of the showpiece fixture. The winners were Mrs. Bouquet and Sir Ron Priestly who was advised to our members (1pt each way) 6/1.
Thursday, we start at Galway. The Galway hurdle was the feature. After a series of near-misses in big handicaps, it all came together for Tudor City in the Grade A Guinness Galway Hurdle Handicap at Ballybrit today.A second success in the hugely valuable event for owner John Breslin, a third for trainer Tony Martin, and a second for jockey Robbie Power, this was a popular win as the victor came in from 12/1 into 10/1 on track, and from bigger earlier.Breslin won it in 2015 with Quick Jack (Tony Martin as well), whilst the County Meath handler triumphed in 2014 for J P McManus with Thomas Edison.
Wicklow Brave will try to add a top-level triumph over fences to his record after he claimed a facile Grade Three victory in the Guinness Open Gate Brewery Novice Chase on day four at the Galway Festival. One Cool Poet made it two wins in a week after his win here on Tuesday night over an extended mile, One Cool Poet successfully stepped up to twelve furlongs to land the Open Gate Pure Brew Handicap. Surrounding continued her brilliant season for Michael Halford and Ronan Whelan as she captured the Corrib Fillies listed race.
At Goodwood, Nayef Road will be aimed at the William Hill St Leger following his gutsy success in the Qatar Gordon Stakes. Deirdre came from way off the pace to win the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood and record a historic success for Japanese trainer Mitsuru Hashida. The passion from the Japanese lads was brilliant to see in the parade ring. There is a lot more prize money on offer in Japan but they came in the spirit of competition and they won. A great result for racing.
Friday, we start at Galway. Tom Mullins and his wife Helen won the opening race on the Friday evening of the Galway festival for the 3rd year in a row, with Lucky Icon (20/1) in the Guinness Galway Tribes Handicap Hurdle. Top Othe Ra did it for the Doninga couple in 2017 and 2018. It was a 30,000 Euro event then but it’s now an 80,000 Euro consolation contest for Thursday’s big Guinness Galway Hurdle now. Sadly James McAuley lost Kerosin who suffered a fatal injury in the race. Kerosin was a horse I always really liked. Sincere condolences to James, Stephen, and Jim Gough. Go well Kerosin for you gave much.
Minella Beau left behind form figures of ‘pp’ off a 218 day break to win for the third time in succession on August 2nd at Ballybrit, in the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase. Continuing a good week for owners, the Mees, trainer, Willie Mullins, and jockey, Paul Townend, the King’s Theatre gelding was well-backed to do so as well, going off the 4/1 market-leader. Mullins completed a double with Mr Adjudicator in the Guinness Premier Handicap at Galway. This was nice compo for well-backed (15/8 into 11/8 favourite) Mr Adjudicator, taking the 120K centre-piece, after his unlucky fourth placing in the opening evening highlight on Monday.Kevin Manning was seen to brilliant effect in the plate. Dermot Weld’s first winner of Galway 2019 arrived in the finale on day five, with Hasanabad (6/1).
At Goodwood, Last year’s 1000 Guineas heroine Billesdon Brook got back on the big-race trail in the Theo Fennell Oak Tree Stakes. Battaash delighted his followers with an unprecedented third victory in the King George Qatar Stakes. Duke Of Hazzard delighted favourite-backers with a hard-fought success in the Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes. Aktau landed the mother and father of a punt in the finale 5/1 - 5/2
Saturday, we start at Galway. The feature race went to Great Trango picked up plenty of compensation for a luckless run in the amateur riders' handicap on Monday when coming home best in the 120,000 euro handicap hurdle. Phillip Enright's mount jumped the final flight in second in his pursuit of Ask Susan, and he soon switched to the inside of that rival to deliver his challenge. There was a treble for Aidan O'Brien with Emperor Of The Sun, Royal County Down and Lancaster House. History was made as One Cool Poet made it three wins at the Galway Festival. "One Cool Poet is racing clear - brings up a rare, a unique Galway Festival hat-trick and dots in," said racecourse commentator Jerry Hannon as One Cool Poet won his third race at Ballybrit in less than a week. The race unfolded in a broadly similar fashion to his two previous victories as he tanked into contention off the home bend and arrived on the scene pulling double at the furlong pole. Again, once Billy Lee hit the button the race was soon over, as the pair surged into the lead inside the final furlong and romped home by five lengths. One Cool Poet was advised (1pt each way) 9/2.
At Goodwood, Kings Advice took the 100K handicap making it 8 wins from nine races for Mark Johnston. Kings Advice was advised (0.5pt each way) at 4/1. The feature race the Lillie Langtry went to Enbihaar for John Gosden. The Stewards Cup went to Khaaadem for Charlie Hills.
Sunday, Whatever happens, today, we are going to win at Galway and we won at Goodwood. Stats will go up later this week on the main site. I find myself today thinking about what might have been. Our captain Mokhalad was balloted out of the big race today 355 Galway. Mokhalad on a mark of 86 would have got a run in the race today in any of the last ten years. Mokhalad would have had a very good chance, however, it was not to be and fourteen months planning has gone south. Many of us went to Galway it was a strange feeling. As a wise member of our syndicate said " Derek when we stood in Navan on March 30th, if somebody said Mokhalad would win three times in the season but not run at Galway we would have taken that"Gavin Byrne, of course, is 100% correct
However, in punting and racing perspective is very important. Our friend and the man who we met the day we bought Mokhalad James McAuley suffered the heartbreak on Friday night of coming home without Kerosin who had brought the lads to Royal Ascot just 6 weeks ago. Kerosin was a horse I always admired. It is sad beyond words. The sincere condolences of everyone at Galaxy go to James McCauley, Stephen McCauley, and Jim Gough. Both ourselves and The Hilltop team went into the end of the Galway Festival with high hopes. Our disappointment is nothing compared to what the Hilltop team have suffered. Kerosin had a brilliant future in front of him. Go well Kerosoin for you gave much.
On the track, Ilikethewayurthinking made it two wins in the week for JP McManus. The feature race the Ahonoora handicap went to Laughifuwant who saw off On A Session in a good finish. On A Session was advised (1pt each way) at 20/1. There was a return to form for Yorkhill. There was a second win a week for Linger for Joseph O'Brien. It was a good finish to the festival Linger was advised (1pt each way) 9/2.