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Thursday 19 October 2017

Back Presenting Julio to make a quick return

Presenting Julio winning at Limerick last Saturday. Pic: racingpost.com
Presenting Julio winning at Limerick last Saturday. Pic: racingpost.com

Presenting Julio and Darkest Flyer were both winners at Limerick on Saturday and a quick return to the winner's enclosure is expected for the pair at Ballinrobe this evening.

All roads will lead west next week for the Galway Festival and seeing horses appear twice during the week will be nothing unusual but Gordon Elliott and Noel Meade are getting into that frame of mind early as both look to have found good opportunities at the Mayo track this evening.

Elliott's Presenting Julio has won four times since April, giving jockey Chris Meehan a first Irish winner on Saturday.

The trainer has kept the 7lbs claimer onboard as the nine-year-old runs under a 4lbs penalty and looks hard to beat.

As short as Presenting Julio is going to be in the betting tonight, Darkest Flyer looks likely to go off odds on after he won on his first start for Noel Meade on Saturday following almost a year off the track.

An emphatic five-and-a-half length victory looks likely to be backed up with another win in a race where it is hard to make a strong case for many of his rivals.

Meade will have a strong team at Galway next week and the weights for both the Galway Hurdle and the Galway Plate were released yesterday with 2014 winner Road To Riches among the likely conteners.

The Willie Mullins-trained Ballycasey and Clondaw Warrior top the weights for the Galway Plate and Galway Hurdle respectively, but Meade is hopeful that Road To Riches is returning to his past form.

The trainer said: "He had a problem last year after he got a very bad fall at Punchestown. We couldn't get him looking well or right all year. It transpired that his spleen had moved over to the other side of his stomach but we didn't find that out until the spring of this year.

"Since we got that sorted out, he really has turned inside out and he looks more like his old self. He's been working very well and we have been very happy with him.

Plan

"We are hoping that he will be there or thereabouts in the Galway Plate, that's the plan. After that, it's obviously one day at a time.

"A week is a long time in the life of a racehorse so we don't try to plan too far ahead. He's ten years old now so you know everything we get from here on out is a bonus."

Bookmakers Paddy Power have priced up the Galway Plate and make the classy Shaneshill and Henry de Bromhead's Connacht National winner On Fiddlers Green the 8/1 joint favourites for the €250,000 prize.

Jessica Harrington's Sandymount Duke has won his last three and could be popular at 14/1, while last Saturday's Summer Plate winner Alcala is also 14/1 for Paul Nicholls.

Trainer Tony Martin will be buoyed by the return to form of his string just in time for Galway, where he has certainly made his mark in recent seasons.

Martin has enjoyed three winners in the last week and will hold a strong hand when bidding for a third Galway Hurdle in four years.

Martin said: "Thomas Edison and Pyromaniac will be the two, I'd say.

"I was happy with Thomas Edison the other day at Tipperary. Pyromaniac is a better horse on the Flat but we might let him have a go at the Hurdle."

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