Paul Ferguson has two selections from Galway for us on Monday; Diplomat at 17:10 and Wicklow Brave at 8.15. Compare odds and bet.
The Galway Festival kicks off this evening and Dermot Weld, who notoriously dominates this famous fixture, can get off to the best possible start with Diplomat (5:10) in the opener.
A classy Flat performer, the son of Kitten’s Joy struggled over hurdles on soft ground during the winter, but looked to relish the much quicker ground at Sligo earlier in the month. He beat a subsequent winner in impressive fashion that day and, with Ruby Walsh retaining the ride, he is fancied to win this four-year-old event.
Willie Mullins is another trainer with a fine record at this meeting and the champion jumps trainer can take the concluding bumper on day one with Wicklow Brave (8:15) provided the ground remains good.
Ninth at the Punchestown Festival, the four-year-old improved considerably when meeting much faster ground at the same venue in May and looked all over the winner inside the final furlong, only to be mugged late on in the shadows of the post.
The form of that race is mixed, but both the fourth and seventh won next time and the son of Beat Hollow sets a fairly decent standard. Of the others with form in the book, Riverside City stayed on behind a smart sort at Down Royal on debut and the market will prove pretty informative both to his chance (representing JP McManus and Gordon Elliott) and that of the newcomers.
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Last Year’s Book Results – Leading Prospects:
- SPRINTER SACRE – Unbeaten – winner at Aintree & Cheltenham
- SIMONSIG – Winner at Aintree & Cheltenham
- CINDERS AND ASHES – 10/1 winner of Supreme Novices Hurdle
- BOBS WORTH – 9/2 winner of the RSA Chase
- MENORAH & SILVINIACO CONTI – Both Aintree Winners
- SIR DES CHAMPS – Unbeaten inc 3/1 Jewson Cheltenham Winner
- FINGAL BAY – Won 4 times inc Challow Hurdle
- RAYA STAR – 10/3 winner at Wetherby, 12/1 Ladbroke Hurdle winner, 15/2 Scottish Champion Hurdle winner
- AMBION WOOD – 14/1 EBF Final Sandown winner
- CHAMPION COURT – 6/1 G2 Dipper Novices Chase winner
- PALACE JESTER – 14/1 winner at FFos Las
- SWINCOMBE FLAME – Hat-trick winner inc Lanzarote Hurdle at 9/2
- TEAFOR THREE – 5/1 NH Cheltenham Chase winner (Manifesto Novices’ Chase)