5 to thrive at Galway races on Wednesday

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Willie Mullins has dominated this first 2 mile, 5 furlong hurdle for the past few years and first won the contest with Clounties Hill under Ruby Walsh in 2003. The Closutton team have plenty of runners this year including Champ Kiely who returns after winning a Limerick bumper in May 2021. Ocovango’s son is Paul Townend’s pick, but I’m taking a punt on stablemate LASPARAS who finished on the court as the beaten favorite in this race last year.

The son of Gentlewave has plenty of stamina after winning a point-to-point at Loughbrickland and his run here last year was his last of 2021 before returning recently to finish fifth at Tipperary last month. Hopefully that effort got him going and worth a punt back and forth with Danny Mullins in the saddle. Elsewhere, Dawn Rising makes a first run over the hurdles and returns from a long break, while Esperti, Misty’s Gift, Valley Breeze and Country Queen are also in the game.

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WILD HUNTING showed his best form this year and can challenge Denis Hogan and his owner Brian Castle in this extended 2 mile, 6 furlong handicap obstacle. The son of Dubawi won a Clonmel Handicap Hurdle of 96 in comfortable fashion in early March before following easily at Down Royal on 106 on St. Patrick’s Day. He ticks a lot of boxes and a slightly improved 3lb increase might not be enough to stop him coming back now fresh from his last effort in Cork.

He has already shown his stamina in both wins this season and any further rain would help his chances with Hogan back in the saddle and looking for another winner this week. Rock Road has been a model of consistency for Willie Mullins along with his fellow Vadalys and Feigh with solid chances each way. Elsewhere, the lightly run Shoot First deserves a lot of respect for Charles and Philip Byrnes and could be well ahead of its 119 mark after its fine success at Tipperary last month.

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The 1 mile 4 furlong Qualified Riders maiden has been a great race for the Mee family in recent years, having won with Exchange Rate, Diamond Hill and Zero Ten since 2017. Willie Mullins also has a wonderful record here having landed six of previous ten renewals with seven favorites scoring over the past decade. hallowed STAR gets the Mee’s vote this year with this horse which has already had success here at Galway over hurdles last year.

Previous course form is clearly an advantage and with the Mee family having a strong record in this contest, Shark Hanlon will hopefully celebrate success. The son of Sea The Stars has been racing well lately and the booking of Patrick Mullins (who has won the last five renewals) is positive. Elsewhere, Merlin Giant looks in obvious danger and also belongs to the Mees along with stablemate Thousand Tears, another who could reach the frame for Emmet Mullins.

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MR WILSON is my best bet in Galway this Wednesday and ticks many boxes in this extended 1 mile handicap. The only thing you want in Galway on the flat is to find a horse that can stay beyond racing distance, is within reach, has a good draw and experience on the course if possible – Gavin Cromwell’s horse has all these qualities. Alhebayeb’s son dominated from the front to win a Nursery here last October and has knocked on the door of his new coach this season.

The handicapper kept it unchanged (80) after finishing a strong second out of ten furlongs at Roscommon last month with Gary Carroll once again in the saddle. The form of his run at Haydock in May reads well with Mighty Ulysses subsequently winning at Listed level at Newmarket earlier this month. The drop in travel should play straight to his strengths and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him do it all from a nice draw position in stall 4.

The last remaining handicap here in Galway was a good run for Tony Martin and John Breslin with previous successes with Busted Tycoon (2013) and Upgraded (2019). The trainer and the owner join this opportunity with the considerable improvement WITHOUT ANSWER who is looking for a quintuple on both codes this year. The Intello son started his winning run on 46 in a flat handicap at Limerick before scoring at Gowran Park, over hurdles at Punchestown and back to level at Killarney.

He won away at Killarney and a further 7lb raise by the handicapper may be offset by the increased travel in this contest. The booking of Billy Lee, who continues to enjoy a hell of a season is clearly a bright spot with the jockey more than able to find a good position from pit 7. He fits a very similar profile to previous winners Martin/Breslin of this race. and holds another entry in a remaining handicap on Friday.

Wednesday’s Galway Tips

17:10 Lasparas (each way)
17:40 Wild Hunt (each way)
19:15 sacred star
19:50 Mister Wilson (NAP)
20:20 Without answer

*All prices are up to date with our stylish widgets, while copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change

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