Galway Placepot Picks, 29th July 2013

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Geegeez Placepot

Last week was a bit of a write off for this column, and it’s to be hoped that we return to form pronto with both Galway and Glorious Goodwood aforethought this week.

We’ll warm up with a bit of Galway this evening, where there should be plenty of interest…

5.10 – Leg 1: The first thing to say is that Dermot Weld’s horses place here almost 60% of the time and he’s won this first race five times in the last nine years. In the three of the other four years he was represented, he had a placed horse. We’ll take Diplomat to get us on our way and consider a cheap place lay, just in case of the dreaded EB (early bath).

A – 5  (Diplomat)

5.40 – Leg 2: If the first leg was (hopefully) straightforward, the second is a minefield, as a full complement of twenty will scrap this out. Making things even more interesting is the fact that the first reserve will probably be favourite if he runs…!

One thing which stands out here is the historical performance of the higher weighted horses. Specifically, since 2006, all winners carried at least 10-13. Most of the runners up also carried eleven stone plus. I was already interested in the chances of the top three horses, despite their prices, before noticing this.

Anshan Dreams has top weight, but his jockey takes five pounds off. He won here on similar ground last September, and will have been kept back for these. He’s only five pounds higher this time, and will make a bold bid from the front. Liberty’s Gift is another prominent racer weighted to go close. The ground and trip are fine and, again, the jockey takes some weight off his back.

Ted Dolly was good enough to beat Pique Sous last season, and returns to slower ground. That should be in his favour, but as a hold up horse, he might struggle to get a run. USA looks under-priced on the basis of three stuffed-out-of-sight efforts at this idiosyncratic track. He wouldn’t be for me.

Wither Hills could be more interesting, especially with Davy Russell booked to ride. This fellow has been running well on quicker ground and slightly more give should suit. He ought to race close to the pace too, and looks a player.

I’ve yet to find one at a shorter price than 16/1 yet, which is a bit of a worry… and 20/1 Carlowsantana is not going to change that. He’s got plenty of track form, including second in a big field here last year. At ten, he’s not getting any younger, but two wins in his last five starts show he’s no back number just yet.

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Of the more fancied runners, Hurricane Ridge looks to have a good chance. Jessie Harrington’s youngster is in good form, is weighted just above eleven stone, and has run with credit around here before. Regusci can’t be ignored, simply because he might be ignored by plenty of people. He’ll only run if there’s a non-runner, but with twenty going to post, there’s a fair chance of that.

A – 1 (Anshan Dreams), 6 (Hurricane Ridge), 12 (Wither Hills), 21 (Regusci)
B – 2 (Liberty’s Gift), 13 (Carlowsantana)

6.10 – Leg  3: Just seven runners here, and it looks a two horse race. Dermot Weld runs his better flat maidens at the track, whereas Aidan O’Brien doesn’t. That tips the balance in favour of the once raced Mustajeeb, who achieves banker status here.

A – 5 (Mustajeeb)

6.45 – Leg 4: Another big field handicap over two miles, this time on the flat. Dermot Weld has won this four times in the last six years, and he runs Notable Graduate. Not the most obvious form pick, he has at least run well at the track before and could be raced more prominently than usual to take advantage of a good draw.

There are plenty of course specialists in here, none more so perhaps than Shadow Eile, a winner of three of her four starts here, including two last year. She’s just two pounds higher than when winning at the meeting last term, and could run well again. Cry For The Moon’s course form in the last two years reads 222, and all were in big fields. He is a nice placepot type.

And Call Me Bubbles, from Willie Mullins’ pair, looks to have sound chances too. Versatile with regards to ground, he’s won here over a mile and a half and the step up has suited well in recent starts. Rossvoss is also one from one here and has been running well in competitive contests. He’s trained by shrewdie Ted Walsh, and ridden by daughter, Katie. Trap one is a plus for a prominent showing, and the money for this one looks significant.

Takeyourcapoff may need luck in running, but he’s got verdicts over plenty of these and could run into the frame for sure.

A – 4 (Shadow Eile), 6 (Call Me Bubbles), 8 (Notable Graduate)
B – 10 (Cry For The Moon), 16 (Takeyourcapoff), 18 (Rossvoss)

7.15 – Leg 5: Another handicap, this time over a shorter trip and you don’t want to be too far from the front, or too far from the rail. Dermot Weld has saddled the favourite here five times in the last decade and has yet to even make the frame! That includes the last three jollies. As such, Peace Accord, a horse without an obvious form chance, and one which is badly drawn to boot, makes no appeal whatsoever, despite the chance that he’s a good bit more able than he’s thus far demonstrated.

Target Acquired is slightly better drawn and races prominently. He’s a seven furlong specialist and looks set to run well. Rock On Coco is getting the hang of things, and is both well drawn and a prominent racer. With new wonder kid Connor King in the saddle, expect a bold bid from the front.

Strapless may have needed the run last time on her seasonal bow, and comes from the powerful Bolger yard.

A – 1 (Target Acquired), 7 (Strapless), 15 (Rock On Coco)

7.45 – Leg 6: Irish Bulletin returns to the track within 48 hours of his last run, a win over this mile and a half trip. He’s been well backed to double up. The favourite, Pay Day Kitten, represents the Dermot Weld yard, and is on a hat-trick too. This is a race that has thrown up a few shocks over the years, so I’ll take some B’s as well.

Those B’s will be the O’Brien pair, Great Explorer and Waver, both of which race prominently in a race that could turn into a sprint finish. While Melanippe doesn’t make the ticket, she’s an interesting one given the fine record of lower weighted horses in this race.

A – 1 (Pay Day Kitten), 8 (Irish Bulletin)
B – 2 (Great Explorer), 3 (Waver)

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Galway Placepot Picks

Galway Placepot Picks

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