Ahead of the two feature events at the Galway Festival, Brand Ambassadors Paul Townend and David Mullins shared their thoughts on their respective mounts in the big races as well as some insights to their other rides during the week. Both of them are keen on their respective rides in the Galway Plate.
Galway Plate (Wednesday August 2nd 5.35pm)
His best form has been over the intermediate trip and he got very tired in the Irish National after a good run in the 4 miler at Cheltenham. He beat Coney Island in a Beginners Chase and will like the nice ground, hopefully he will have the speed to take a handy position and should go well. Shaneshill looks to be the best of Willie’s but his hurdle form is stronger than his chase form thus far.
Arbre de Vie (David)
He has been campaigned over further and was going very well in the 4 miler at Cheltenham until he was taken out coming down the hill. Brought down early in the Irish national he finished in front of today’s favourite at Punchestown. He should be pacy enough to be in contention early, was very keen at Cheltenham and is in very good form at home. I expect him to give me a very good run
Galway Hurdle (Thursday August 3rd 4.35pm)
Airlie Beach (Paul)
She is in foal and this could well be her last run. A Grade 1 winner last December as a novice she had a nice run on the flat which should set her up nicely for this heat. I have a good record on her, she is tough and honest and has good course form. Hopefully she will get in to the places, but I think Max Dynamite is the one we all have to beat. He hasn’t run over hurdles since he was 2nd in this race 2yrs ago but is in great form at home and has schooled well in preparation.
Princely Conn (David)
It is great to get a ride for Mr. McManus in such a prestigious race. He had a very good run on the flat a few weeks ago, which will set him up nicely for this. Dad hasn’t run him over hurdles since he was 3rd in this race last year and while he is a few pounds higher he is in every bit as good form as last year in what may not be as strong a renewal as recent years.
Elsewhere on Wednesdays card David rides Miss Eyecathcer in the 3:50 who will love the good ground and will stay very well. In fact, this trip may be a couple of furlongs too short but she could go well. It is in the following race however when both our jockeys fancy their mounts. Paul rides Hareth for the shrewd Charles Byrnes team and David has picked up the ride on the reserve Sungsborough Hall. Both fancy their mounts to give very good accounts with David particularly bullish about the Liam Cusack trained Snugsborough Hall.
Some of the pairs respective highlights later in the week include the previously high class Rathvinden who should go well in a hot Novice Chase on Thursday for Paul, while if Top of the Ra runs on Friday David would be keen on hitting the target. He has good form with the strong Galway Hurdle fancy Timiyan and is only 2lb higher than when close up behind him a couple of runs ago.