The Galway Plate – Wednesday, 5.30pm, RTE 1
It was a tough decision going for Alelchi Inois (5/1). I went out to Galway and walked the track on Monday to get a feel for it myself. It’s a lot drier than initially thought, so factoring in the forecast, the Plate could be on the quicker side of good ground and that will suit Alelchi Inois. Time will tell if it’s the right call, because there are still doubts about whether he’ll get the trip in a race of this calibre.
He’s not a slow horse. He’s won over two-miles-four-furlongs twice and he won a two-mile-six-furlong Novice Chase in Killarney, but that was a lot lower standard than this and was on a flatter track. If he stays, he has a great chance.
Boston Bob (20/1) and The Paparazzi Kid (16/1) were going to be my alternative rides. The Paparazzi Kid looks to be nicely handicapped but he’s coming off a long lay-off so fitness is obviously going to be the concern. Willie Mullins has done as much as he can possibly do with him, but he hasn’t had a prep race.
Boston Bob is the class horse in the race. He’s a Grade 1 winner at 2m4f but he possibly would have wanted a little more ease in the ground. He has plied most of his trade through the winter, so although he mightn’t want soft ground, he’s a horse who would like it on the slower side of good.
But he is the class horse in the race and if he’s in touch when they get to the dip in Galway he’ll be the one to beat. He’s in great form and working well at home.
Willie Mullins also has Indevan (25/1) but he had two disappointing preparations. Firstly he wasn’t good enough over fences in Punchestown, and then he wasn’t good enough for Alelchi Inois in Cork over hurdles. It felt like there was more improvement in Alelchi than Indevan on that day, so hopefully that is still the case.
Perfect Gentleman (25/1) is the last of Willie’s contingent. He went to France twice and didn’t have any luck unfortunately. He is in good form and if he reclaims the form of some of his runs last year he has a chance – don’t forget he won a Beginner’s Chase in Tipperary on good ground and a decent Novice Chase in Cork beating Sadler’s Risk at a canter.
But Alelchi Inois has won around Galway twice and has 11-1 on his back. He seems in great form and we’re very hopeful of a big run.