If you’re going on past performance McKinley won the same maiden hurdle in Sligo last year and went on to win this race in Galway so hopefully we’re following a similar path with Bachusson.
He seems well, it’s only a few weeks since he last ran and the experience should have done him good jumping wise. This is a much more competitive race and when it comes to Galway you have to fear anything Dermot Welds runs so Zafayan would have to have a chance. He was second in the Chester Cup and went on to win the Ascot Gold Cup so that looks like rock solid form.
I think Nerushacon is a big threat. The form of his hurdle win in Gowran is actually quite strong and he could prove as a big a danger as Zafayan.
One of these three will definitely win and if you’re going for value then take Nerushacon.
Galway, 17:45 Handicap
A worry you would have with DK’s runners this week is that a lot of them have genuine flat pedigrees and do like better ground so that could be an issue for Defining Year.
Barry Geraghty rides Rocky Court for Stephen Mahon which is an eye-catching booking. David Mulling is on Baby Jake who won last time out and definitely has a chance.
Beckwith Star won the race last year and was going over fences on his last start. It’s a very competitive race but if DK’s handle the ground they’ll take all the beating.
Galway, 18.50 Amateur Handicap
Whiteout could have done without the rain. On her hurdle form she’s well-handicapped, she beat Zafayan in a maiden hurdle in Gowran Park, she won at the Punchestown Festival and I probably should have won on her in Killarney. She is in good form but a lot of that good form is on flat tracks, she’s a nice weight but I’m not convinced.
Wood Breizh will run his race. I thought he was well handicapped on the flat and he duly obliged when he won with Pat Smullen in Tipperary. He got ten pounds for that, will he carry a ten pound penalty? Who knows? And a bit like Whiteout they both have only ordinary draws. Anything under ten definitely has an advantage and both horses are drawn above that. When you get drawn that wide at Galway it’s a definite disadvantage.
The top drawn horse, Awesome Star, is bang in form and he’d have to have a chance. I know Gordon Elliot thinks a lot of Esthiaal which again has a chance but is carrying a lot of weight on his back. Ted Veale has been well-supported all morning, I see he’s the pick of Pricewise.
It’s a wide open race but at a push I’d go for Esthiaal where Nina Carberry teams up with Gordon Elliot, that could be the one.