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Royal Rendezvous can bring Plate joy for Mullins

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Royal Rendezvous is fancied in the Plate

Royal Rendezvous is fancied in the Plate

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Royal Rendezvous is fancied in the Plate

Galway has been bubbling over nicely since the beginning of the week but for many the real action starts today as the jumpers come out to play.

It's Galway Plate day today and the big race looks yet another smashing renewal with all the big guns represented.

Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott saddle 11 between them but there is the potential for a fairytale story with some smaller trainers holding real live chances, notably Liam Cusack with last year's third Snugsborough Benny.

Easy Game is another with course form and Galvin is sure to be popular for Elliott and Davy Russell, but Paul Townend has opted for ROYAL RENDEZVOUS (6.45) who has to go close with a clear run off a handicap mark of 146.

He will carry 10st12lb on his back and obviously has the services of one of the best jockeys around on his back.

This lad has always been highly regarded by Team Mullins and has done most of his running at the highest level but he hasn't been seen since scrambling home in a Grade Three in March at Naas.

That wasn't actually his best performance but it will have served as a nice confidence booster after finishing down the field in a pair of Grade Ones over the winter.

He has clearly been nicely freshened up since then and it is telling that he is Townend's choice as many will fancy Easy Game here this afternoon.

It's always nice to have a bit of course form too and Royal Rendezvous has won here in the past so with 9/1 on offer he looks a cracking each-way bet.

Mullins can kick the day off with another win in the Play The Tote Jackpot Novice Hurdle. Mullins has dominated this race, winning it with Pakora in 2018 and Fast Buck last year and GETAWAY GORGEOUS (4.45) looks like a similar type to bring up the hat-trick.

This Bumper winner got off the mark at the third time of asking at Wexford in March and will have been eyed up for this race since - particularly with racing having been sidelined for so long with Covid-19.

It could be a good day for Townend as he rides Gorgeous Getaway and he can start the day off in style.

A chance is taken at a monster price that Tara Dylan (5.15) can bounce back to form to reach the frame in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Handicap Hurdle.

She has some strong form in the past against some good horses, such as an excellent fourth at Listowel a while back when rated 122. She is down at 109 now after some uninspiring form but if she can put her best foot forward she can hopefully be in the mix.

Kaatskill Nap (5.45) is yet to get his head in front over hurdles but he made an encouraging return to action on the Flat last month and Mullins has found an ideal opportunity here to score in the Bet With Tote On The Galway Races Maiden Hurdle.

Half an hour later an opening mark of 119 might not be enough to anchor BOLD ENOUGH (6.15) in the Play The Tote Trifecta Handicap Hurdle.

This Jeremy gelding caught the eye with an assertive success four weeks ago on yielding ground at Tipperary and he certainly looks like one on the up.

Rachael Blackmore takes the ride, which is an obvious plus, and Bold Enough can get his trainer Henry de Bromhead off the mark for the week.

Shark Hanlon always plots a couple up for this week and he has gotten REWRITETHERULES (7.15) in lovely at the foot of the weights.

This six-year-old has been winning in the Hunter Chase sphere and has run a couple of times over hurdles recently, likely in preparation for this and to keep the weight down, and it would come as no surprise if the money came for him today.

In the Mares' Bumper, GLAN (7.45) is chosen to get the job done for Jamie Codd and Gordon Elliott while MAHONS GLORY (8.15) only found Major Robinson too good at Thurles and can put that experience to good use in the finale for Denis Hogan.