This year ahead of the Galway Festival the yard is in tremendous form, things just keep getting better – Gordon’s meteoric rise through the training ranks shows no signs of slowing and the forthcoming season looks set to be electrifying! Despite it being a steady time for us it’s business as usual with nearly 100 horses in training and it doesn’t stop there with the addition of 38 new stables being built along with a new schooling ring, another walker and plenty of horses still due to return from their summer breaks.
The current mood in the yard is one of excitement, Galway is a favourite meeting of many and for us it’s just as exciting as the bigger winter festivals with the added bonus of the chance of sunshine! We hope to continue our recent run of form into the festival with an exciting line up of horses.
Despite some of our stable stars still enjoying their well deserved summer grazing we have a strong team lined up and it’s an important week for us. Most of our Galway runners have been storming the rounds with their summer campaigns and Gordon’s jockeys of choice are in almost as good form as the horses! Unfortunately our stable jockey Bryan Cooper will miss out on this year’s action due to injury but with the likes of Paul Carberry, Kevin Sexton, Luke Dempsey and Jack Kennedy available to us, the horses are in great hands.
All our runners for the week go with chances – they don’t go to make up the numbers but here are my top 5 starting with the two feature races of the week.
He’s a bit of a character but has done well since joining us at the start of the year from Charlie Swan, his most recent outing a determined win at Punchestown in June where although at one stage looking beaten he rallied well to claim a narrow victory. He just keeps galloping and has plenty of ability, I think the only negative is that he wouldn’t want them to go too quick. He’s shown his versatility ground wise, from heavy to good it doesn’t seem to be an issue for him and with the Irish weather as unpredictable as ever that’s a plus! The trip will suit him down to the ground and he jumps well – we can expect a decent performance from him, he’s in fantastic form at home and looks a picture.
Second in this last year to Thomas Edison beaten just three lengths, he looks to be a strong contender for this year’s contest. He went on to win the Ladbroke at Ascot and is shaping up to be a classy type. The ground at the moment will suit and even if it goes a little either way it shouldn’t be an issue for him. He seems run his best races in bigger fields so that’s also a plus. He is one of my yard favourites. I really like his consistency and how genuine he is. To look at him he just oozes power and is compact and muscular – he’s like a little powerhouse! Thomas Edison has not gone on to show much more and Bayan has more than proved his abilities since.
Moonmeister – Novice Hurdle, Monday 5.15
His recent switch to hurdles has proved a savvy move with two from two so far. He’s a great little jumper and was impressive at Bellewstown at the start of the month cruising to an easy victory under Luke Dempsey. This will be his biggest ask yet but he has plenty more to give. It’s easy to forget he’s just four years old – he’s almost the dark horse of the week for me as even though he’s lacking in experience over hurdles he shows plenty of promise and he’s very tough.
QR Handicap [Monday 6.50]
Guinness Novice Hurdle [Thursday 4.05]
Galway Hurdle [Thursday 4.45]
What a summer this horse has had so far, he is a testament to Gordon’s ability to bring out the best in a horse most recently winning the Stayers Stakes at York he is extremely versatile and enjoyed a treble over hurdles in just 6 days in May. He jumps well and has the speed when needed. Galway will suit him and so far he is entered in a couple of races which gives Gordon some options. He holds an entry for the Ebor so a bold run at Galway will hold him in good stead for his York preparations.
Bank Bonus – Handicap Hurdle, Wednesday 4.10
Although he has not been with us long he’s already made a good impression with his winning yard debut at Perth and he could be back to form after a few hit and miss efforts. For some horses a change of yard seems to do the trick. He’s a gorgeous horse to look at and when watching him on the gallops he is effortless. He really stands out to me and he has a great bit of life in him, always looking fresh and well. His jumping is pretty much spot on. He flattened the last at Perth but it just showed how nimble he is to get back into rhythm and finish strongly and he will handle Galway well.