Friday 15 December 2017

Play the field in Hurdle highlight



4.45 Little King Robin

5.30 Away We Go



4.55 Rawnaq

6.05 Port Rock

I watched in from home yesterday afternoon on what was another great day at Galway and once again it looked like a massive crowd but I'm looking forward to returning west tomorrow on Guinness Galway Hurdle day for one of the biggest races on the calendar in Ireland.

The highlight of the week certainly seems to have a much more open and competitive look to it now that Willie's Royal Ascot winner Pique Sous is out and I think this is a race that if you are having a bet in it you can justify speculating on more than one horse and I like a couple who I'd say will be quite decent prices.

Matthew Smith's Rawnaq ran in the race last year and was sent off one of the market leaders on that occasion when finishing seventh and I wouldn't rule him out going a bit closer this year.

He is a horse that has plenty of experience now and in a race like this that is always a massive help and he caught my eye when finishing third at Cheltenham back in November which was his last run over hurdles.

Since then Rawnaq has had a couple of nice runs on the flat and at around about 20/1 he could be one that goes close.

One at the bottom of the weights is John Quinn's horse Pearl Castle.

John's horses are absolutely flying at the minute and although he finished fifth, his horse ran a cracker here under 12st in the big amateur handicap on Monday night. He was drawn out wide beside me and had little chance from there but still ran on well so it's great to know that the stable are in form.

Being a four-year-old, he gets a weight for age allowance, which means that despite being rated 136 and having to carry 10st7lbs, he only has to carry 10st1lb and that 6lbs could make a big difference from the last hurdle home.

In the bumper, I ride a horse called Rosetub, who is a lovely filly that I rode at Killarney last time out when we were second to Daring Carlotta and I'd say that was probably her best run to date.

This looks a hot race with Port Rock having been second to Morning Run and Sheamus who was third behind Alton Bay, but I'd be hoping my filly can at least sneak a bit of prize money and we'll see what happens after that.

Today, I can see Away We Go run a big race in the Galway Plate for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend who won the first race of the week here with Mckinley but I know Ruby is sweet on Paul Nicholls' Caid Du Berlais so he could be worth a second look also. Paul is no stranger to sending over a Plate winner and he's not coming for the fresh air!

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