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Saturday 21 October 2017

5.10 Redera 5.40 Fit For The Job6.15 Speckled Wood6.50 Panama Hat7.25 Awesome Star7.55 Keyboard Melody8.25 Forgotten Rules

Friday always marks a changing of the guard at Galway as a lot of those who have been here from flagfall on Monday head for hibernation and going in the opposite direction is a fresh contingent who are ready to set-up camp for the weekend.

But one thing that doesn't change is the rich prize money on offer and tomorrow's feature is the Guinness Handicap worth €100,000.

Monday's Connacht Hotel Handicap winner Quick Jack was among the entries for the race but doesn't return to the scene of the crime for Tony Martin and that could prove a wise call by Martin as he may have had to settle for minor honours behind Andy Oliver's four-time winner Panama Hat.

Punters who follow trends will be looking for a five-year-old to follow in this race as the last four winners, and seven of the last 10, have all been that age but, while three-year-olds don't have an exceptional record in the race, Panama Hat may well be set to become the fourth horse of that age to win since 1995.

beginning

After finishing second off a mark of 60 at Leopardstown when a 25/1 shot back in June, Panama Hat won the following week at the same venue and then went on to win three in a week at the beginning of this month at Fairyhouse, Roscommon and Naas.

The handicapper has given the colt a 36-pound rise for those last outings and tomorrow he'll be running off a mark of 96 but being a three-year-old he gets the weight for age allowance of 11lbs and his winning sequence may not be finished yet with Chris Hayes again booked to ride for the County Tyrone based trainer.

Galway continues to attract a number of nice quality horses every year but one of the potentially classiest horses to run at this meeting this year is Forgotten Rules who is due to line up in the concluding Guinness Race for Dermot Weld and Moyglare Stud.

A 13-length Punchestown Festival Bumper winner on his debut back in April, Forgotten Rules absolutely oozed class on that occasion and immediately looked a type that could hold his own in decent flat company and tomorrow's finale could be the next insight into just how good Forgotten Rules actually is. There are not many races at this meeting that Weld hasn't won since the 1990s, but tomorrow's penultimate Arthur Guinness Handicap is one that has eluded him since 1997, but an eye should be kept on any market moves for the Dr Lambe-owned Keyboard Melody who steps up to the distance of a mile for the first time after three runs over shorter trips in maidens that saw him earn a mark of 65.

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