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Davy Russell: My thoughts on day 2 of the Galway Festival 2017

01 Aug | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Davy Russell: My thoughts on day 2 of the Galway Festival 2017

In the second of his exclusive daily blogs from Ireland, the Betway ambassador previews the races at the Summer Festival.

On to day two of the Galway Festival – don’t forget it’s a marathon not a sprint.

There are just two races for us jump jockeys today and I’ve got rides in both.

5.20pm: First up is the novice hurdle where I’m on Deor {ODDS:174698362:7/1} for John Kiely.

He gave me a good feel when we won a maiden hurdle at Cork last month, but the soft ground is a worry.

He’s a lovely little horse, but he’s by Galileo, as are a couple of others in the field, and the National Hunt bred horses may have an advantage given the conditions.

Cinema De Quartier was very impressive at Kilbeggan last month and looks the one to beat.

5.55pm: I’m on Bilko {ODDS:174698360:9/1} in the beginners chase for Gordon Elliott.

He’s a consistent horse, although the ground could be a little too soft for him.

I’d be hopeful rather than confident and Bamako Moriviere and Three Wise Men are the big dangers.

6.25pm: The fillies maiden looks a very hot contest indeed, with runners from a number of the big stables.

One who could offer a bit of value is Joe Murphy’s Shekiba {ODDS:174698402:16/1}. She had a nice run on debut in the Curragh a couple of weeks ago to finish fourth.

I’m not sure about the ground but I can see her running well at a price.

7.05pm: The draw is often very important at Galway because it’s such a unique tight track, although when it’s soft it can be less important as they often come over to the stands’ side.

The maiden for three-year-olds and above is another competitive contest and I always look for a horse with plenty of experience in a race like this.

Kevin Prendergast’s Presidential {ODDS:174698379:11/1} has had a few runs and is rated 75. He’s by Invincible Spirit so should handle the ground better than most, while he also wears a first-time visor.

7.40pm: The big race of the day is the valuable mile handicap and I think Riven Light {ODDS:174698414:6/1} will be hard to beat.

Willie Mullins had a brilliant meeting here last year, and both the drop back to a mile – and the ground – should suit this son of Raven’s Pass.

You’d have to respect Dermot Weld’s Tandem, who is going for a four-timer, and Baraweez, who turns up here every year and nearly always runs well.

8.10pm: Another wide open handicap where finding the winner isn’t going to be easy.

Prove The Point {ODDS:174698433:20/1} has won off a mark of 70 before so he must have a chance of 69 here. He’s also got some good form with cut in the ground.

It’s interesting that Pat Smullen is riding So Sensible for Tracey Collins rather than Waitaki for Dermot Weld.

8.40pm: Beau Satchel {ODDS:174698456:9/2} has won this race for the past two years and there’s no reason why he can’t make it three.

He absolutely loves the place and is down to a 3lb lower mark than 12 months ago. Course form is so important here.