The “Ahonoora” Handicap is a 7f race at 3.55 at Galway on Sunday, August 5th. Here we take a look at the main contenders and reveal the best bet for the race.
This admirable nine year old has become somewhat of a Galway specialist in recent years.
Now trained in Ireland by Jarlath Fahey, he has won this very race for the last two years while trained by shrewd British handler Brian Ellison. He also notably appeared in one mile handicaps at Galway in the preceding days to those two wins, coming third on both occasions.
In common with his preparation of the last two years, he ran a never nearer fifth in the BMW mile here on Wednesday behind Riven Light. Appearing here off just a one pound higher mark than for last years win, he looks nailed on to again show up well from a decent draw in the 5 stall.
However, solid as he is, he is getting on a bit now and I am going to look elsewhere for the winner.
This well bred Aidan O Brien trained three year old has proved a very tough and reliable sort.
Still a maiden until his seventh race, he then ran second in two decent events at the Curragh before notching his second win in a minor event at Leopardstown in early June. From there he went to Royal Ascot for the Brittania Handicap. Settled out the back of the thirty strong field, he was still stone last at the two pole with his much overrated rider Ryan Moore snubbing a huge gap up the stands rail and instead electing to look for traffic in the other direction. In what has become an all too common occurrence with horses ridden by Moore, he then gave his mount the too little too late treatment as he flashed home under hands and heels for a never nearer seventh.
Though beaten four lengths that day, he might well have won with a half decent ride.
Last seen here at Galway in Wednesday’s BMW mile, he again finished strongly from a bad draw to snatch second behind the classy Riven Light. He again has a poor draw here in fourteen and the drop in trip might be more of a hindrance than a help, but he is sure to go well again provided luck in running.
Jedd O Keeffe sends over Shared Equity from his North Yorkshire yard in Britian.
Tough and consistent, the seven year old was a good winner of a competitive seven furlong race at Epsom on Derby day. He is in the past also the winner of a valuable six furlong race at York and overall has an over 50% place strike rate from twenty eight career starts.
He can go well here from the six stall but I feel he is vulnerable to a better handicapped finisher over this stiff seven furlongs.
Another very strong challenger from England is the John Quinn trained Safe Voyage.
Last seen at Haydock 99 days ago he destroyed a field of decent handicappers to win by an ever widening six lengths. Second that day was Get Knotted who has since showed up well in strong races and won last time out at York. That was Safe Voyages fifth career win from just fourteen starts with two of those wins coming after an extended break and four of them coming under a claiming rider. This time he is again appearing after an extended break and the mount of a claimer with Sean Davis taking off a useful seven pounds.
That last time out win really did seem to show that he was an improved horse and with the in-form Quinn having grown up in Ireland, he would love nothing more than a Galway winner. In fact, he seems to have laid Safe Voyage out specifically for this race and he looks the best bet to me
Safe Voyage can repeat his last time out win and land this valuable prize. Bond Street rates the biggest danger.
Safe Voyage: 1 point each way @ 7/1