When it comes to Galway you want to be riding for Dermot Weld. He rang me a couple of weeks ago and asked would I ride Train of Thought in this. He’s schooled well and we get 10lbs off the top-weight and horse in form Discoteca from Gordon Elliott’s yard which is a huge help.
There’s a few winners in the race like Dysios and Sonapour. But I’d imagine Dermot’s come here without the penalty and will be looking to get the week off to a good start.
I won a maiden hurdle on Drive on Regardless for Willie Mullins but he’s up against it here. Another one I was asked to ride by Dermot was Teach Nua. He seems to be in great form and they’re expecting a big run In Roswell House from him.
But the one that sticks out for me is Maxim Gorky for Noel Meade and Davy Russell. He looks leniently treated and is in off a good mark. He’ll be hard to beat as he looks well handicapped. Tony Martin’s High Importance should run well at an each-way price.
He ran well for me at Killarney a fortnight ago and will appreciate the better ground.
If Joseph O’Brien is going to win the Flat jockey’s title he’s going to have to take on Pat Smullen at Galway. If Dermot’s flat horses click then Pat will have a good Galway, pure and simple. Line Drummer looks a good thing in this but you can’t discount Thunder Mountain or Weld’s other runners Fastidious (6.10) and Encrypted Message (6.40) given the partnership’s record here.
But I expect first blood on the flat to go to Ballydoyle.
Headford Flyer should run well. The ground was too slow at Killarney the last time when I rode him. I was talking to clerk of the course Lorcan Wyer this morning and he expects the ground to be good this evening. Buy Back Bob has a chance.
Shadow Eile is up against it for what he’s achieved. Caim Hill is one I’d see going close. He’s not actually a great jumper so the 2m here on the flat can play to his strengths. Tornedo Shay is a high-class performer over hurdles but there are others I’d prefer.
Clarach will probably miss the cut in the Galway Hurdle and Declan Lavery is taken a handy 7lbs off him, so he has a big chance. It’s wide-open but I’d probably stick with Caim Hill. I think he’s got a big shout.
Willie has nothing in this but Patrick rides one for Jim Bolger Cil Baire and he likes him. Dermot has Silver Concorde but he can’t win all the races. There’s a bit of chat for Christ Roche’s Scienter who makes his debut here.