Galway Races 2015: Weld's week to be fuelled by victory in Topaz Mile
Day trips to the Galway Races are a fairly rare occurrence.
Some will attempt the week others at least half of it, but it would be fairly fitting if the aptly named Stay De Night, trained by the King of Ballybrit himself, Dermot Weld, was to win this evening’s Topaz Mile.
Unlike so many of the 52 races at the Galway Festival, the Galway Mile isn’t a race that Weld has farmed in recent years but Stunning View did win in 2011 and Stay De Night looks to have the credentials to provide him with a fifth win since 1990 in the €120,000 handicap.
The last three winners of the race are all back looking for more with two-time winner Vastonea bidding to win it for a third time for Kevin Prendergast, while top weight Brendan Brackan won it for Ger Lyons in 2013.
Lyons runs five this year and Unsinkable looks the pick of those, but Stay De Night is a relatively unexposed type who has just had one start this season and should be open to plenty of progression.
Valac is another who looks likely to notch up another winner for Rosewell House this evening in the Caulfieldindustrial.com Maiden.
Placed three times in as many starts in maidens, he has run in good enough company to suggest he’d be up to winning this and if he can finish in front of Jessica Harrington’s Unyielding that should be enough to secure victory.
The other maiden on the card sees Weld send out Simannka who again has the benefit of a run under her belt but it is a debutant that is picked to cause a bit of an upset.
Kevin Prendergast has seen enough in Ava to give her entries in the best of juvenile races this season and that may be a significant guide as to how she may fare this evening. Ava holds entries for the upcoming Group One Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh, the Debutante Stakes and the Moyglare Stakes, all at HQ later in the season, and if she is going to justify her entry in those races this is a race she’d have to be winning so take a punt with her in the 6.15.
Proceedings get underway with two jumps races and Long Dog is the pick in the opener for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh.
One of the most intriguing runners over obstacles this week will be the Grade One winning juvenile hurdler Guitar Pete, who be making his chasing debut.
The Sandra Hughes-trained five-year-old will be ridden by Johnny Burke for his chasing bow. Although the likes of Hash Brown, and even Steps To Freedom, have previous experience, Guitar Pete should be capable of making a winning start and go on to bigger and better things over fences later in the season.
The ground should suit Tara Coogan’s Bobby Jean in the seven-furlong handicap and she may go close while in the finale Heartbreak City is just given the nod over Mustadrik for Tony Martin and last year’s Galway Plate winning jockey Shane Shortall.
Cronin's Choice Galway Today
5.15: Long Dog
5.45: Guitar Pete
6.50: Stay De Night
7.50: Bobby Jean
8.20: Heartbreak City