The Guinness Galway Hurdle is a 2 mile hurdle race held at 4.35 at Galway on Thursday, August 2nd. Here we take a look at the main contenders and revel the best bet.
Good Thyne Tara
Good Thyne Tara represents Willie Mullins and is a fascinating contender for this years Galway Hurdle.
The now eight year old mare has only been out of the first three twice in fourteen career starts. She is also the only horse to ever give a race to the brilliant Samcro, who is unbeaten whenever he has finished. On that occasion she ran him to half a length in a listed bumper at Navan at the end of 2016.
She won her maiden hurdle next time out at odds on at Clonmel, but was then winless in her next six outings before running out a facile winner at Ballinrobe at the end of May. Behind her that day were the useful Housesofparliament and subsequent big flat handicap winner, Stratum.That was followed by another easy win at Cork twenty days ago, where she had two ex Cheltenham Festival winners behind in Arctic Fire and Flaxen Flare.
This mare seems to have improved of late despite being an eight year old. Of course her handicap mark has risen in accordance, but if she can continue to progress then she has real live prospects here.
Many shrewd judges are keen on the chances of the John J Walsh trained Davids Charm.
Though seven, this lightly raced son of Milan has been improving at a rate of knots over the last year. He broke his maiden tag at the sixth attempt last June with a good win over eighteen rivals in a Listowel handicap off a mark of just 95. He won again next time out at Galway before going on to run subsequent Royal Ascot winner Lagostovegas to a neck in a tough handicap hurdle at Listowel. He then got back on the winning trail with another easy win in a competitive Fairyhouse Handicap in Decenmber.
He then had a 205 days break before two unplaced flat outings in the last five weeks, races that were clearly pipe openers for the Galway Hurdle.
His shrewd yard may not have been in the winners of late and for sure that is a worry, but Davids Charm has clearly been laid out all year for this years Galway Hurdle and must have a serious chance of landing the massive pot for his underrated trainer.
Also among the powerful Mullins battalion is the Ruby Walsh ridden Max Dynamite.
The globe trotting eight year old is the class act here having won a Group 2 on the level and twice going close in the prestigious Melbourne Cup.
However, this is not Melbourne, and while he does have some useful hurdles form including a second in the 2015 Galway Hurdle, he is still only one from ten over hurdles with that win coming in a maiden race almost four years ago.
He will have his supporters but I am very happy to look elsewhere.
Le Richebourg is the pick of retained McManus rider Barry Geraghty and looks to have his chance here.
His three wins last year included a very smooth five length win here at Galway from the useful Twobeelucky. That one had won it’s previous two with ease and next time went on to win at Cheltenham in October of last year.
Le Richebourg then made no impression when well beaten in three Grade 1 contests before again finishing down the field in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Obviously he can’t be left out of calculations owing to his powerful connections, but I don’t care who owns or trains it, you can’t back a horse that has been absolutely hammered in it’s last four runs and has shown no public form whatsoever in the last year.
Let him win if he wants but don’t let him carry your money.
Like many horses before and since, Whiskey Sour has been an absolute revelation since joining Willie Mullins a little over one year ago.
He immediately found his way into the winners enclosure for Mullins with an easy win in a Tramore maiden hurdle. Next seen 59 days later, he landed the valuable amateurs riders two mile flat race at the Galway festival and followed up four days later with another big flat handicap win at Galway, this time over 12 furlongs.
The versatile five year old son of Jeremy then embarked on a jumping campaign over the winter months, starting with a fortuitous win in the Grade 1 Future Champions Novice at Leopardstown and ending with a Grade 1 second at Punchestown. In between were two more solid efforts in Graded company and a fine third in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Returning to the flat he was then a solid fifth in the fiercely competitive Ascot Stakes after being too keen on ground that was likely plenty fast enough for him. Back on his favoured soft surface, this dual purpose Galway specialist is sure to go well here and despite his somewhat cramped odds, rates bet material for this years Galway Hurdle.
Galway Hurdle verdict:
Whiskey Sour each way @ 7/1 guaranteed. Make sure to get the 1st 5 for the place.