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Njord can go Mile high for Madden

Socks ready to step into shoes of Slippers at Ballybrit

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CHANCE: Njord could give Tom Madden the biggest win of his jockey career so far. Pic: Sportsfile

CHANCE: Njord could give Tom Madden the biggest win of his jockey career so far. Pic: Sportsfile

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CHANCE: Njord could give Tom Madden the biggest win of his jockey career so far. Pic: Sportsfile

Galway can throw up some fantastic stories and somehow manages to do so year in, year out. Dermot Weld dominated proceedings here for over two decades and in recent years Willie Mullins has had the ammunition to take the lion's share of winners throughout the week. But there is still always usually a nice spread of winning connections over the seven days of this Festival.

Today might see a couple of Weld winners and maybe one for Willie as well but I think Tom Madden has the chance to enjoy one of, if not the biggest, winner of his short career so far.

The Colm Quinn Galway Mile is a fascinating race every year and unsurprisingly has once again attracted a quality and competitive field.

It's not a race that Jessica Harrington has won before but she has three representatives in this renewal and you could definitely make a strong case for two of them and possibly even all three, with Onlyhuman looking a bit of an outsider, although he was actually sent off favourite for this race last year before finishing eighth.

You'd have to start by looking at the fact that Shane Foley, who is Jessie's stable jockey, rides Tauran Shaman, who is a course-and-distance winner and is better drawn than NJORD (6.45) but I think there is more to come from the latter and if luck is on their side, he can defy the wide starting point.

I have known the Maddens all my life and Tom Madden's older brother, Slippers, won a Galway Hurdle here a few years ago and now it could be time for Socks to add one of the Galway feature races to the portfolio.

Njord bolted up the last day and what is also encouraging is that he won earlier this season with a bit of juice in the ground and that is likely to be important today, after the ground started as soft yesterday.

Today is another all-Flat card with the programme changing this year due to the pandemic and no mixed cards taking place.

National Hunt racing takes over for three days from tomorrow but Willie Mullins might still be able to snatch a winner this evening with EIGHT AND BOB (8.15). This fella has been another great servant for the Act D Wagg Syndicate and they've already enjoyed good days around Galway with Clondaw Warrior in the past.

Eight And Bob hasn't run since Christmas but the lack of a run is never a concern from this stable and his last Flat run was when second at this fixture last year so he could well be still well enough treated on 70.

Rachael Blackmore is not only making the most of her chances over jumps and proving she's one of the best in the business in that sphere but she also has notched up a few winners on the Flat since racing returned and this could be another one.

Johnny Murtagh was a jockey you'd love to have on your side at Galway, Goodwood or anywhere on a big day and now as a trainer he is showing how good he is at that too.

On official ratings CHAMPERS ELYSEES (5.45) has a bit to find to win the Corrib Stakes, but she deserves a crack at a race like this and Johnny can do no wrong at the moment.

Champers Elysees has been progressive in handicaps and in a conditions race like this she will find her level but from what I've seen of her I wouldn't be unconvinced that this isn't her level.

Ger Lyons and Colin Keane have Siskin to look forward to this week but might depart Galway on a good note with FRANK ARTHUR (6.15) looking hard to beat in the mile handicap for three-year-olds only.

Frank Arthur beat MOSTAQQER (5.15) in a Roscommon maiden last month so hopefully that form will be boosted here. Mostaqqer might prove to be the second leg of a double for Dermot Weld if UMNEYAAT (4.45) can win the opener.

OUT ON FRIDAY (7.15) is another good ride for Colin Keane later on the card and DANI'S BOY (7.45) sprang a shock last week but Pat Fahy is well able to train winners at Galway and I wouldn't back against him going in again tonight.

 

KATIE'S CHOICE

4.45 UMNEYAAT

5.15 MOSTAQQER

5.45 champers ELYSEES

6.15 FRANK ARTHUR

6.45 NJORD

7.15 OUT ON FRIDAY

7.45 DANI'S BOY

8.15 EIGHT AND BOB