SOLE PRETENDER (14:45) is two from two over fences. He reverted to hurdles last time where he was a very good second in the Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary to a good mare called Santa Rossa, who I quite like for the Galway Hurdle later on the card.

He took well to fences in two starts and although visually he wasn’t as impressive on his second start over the larger obstacles, the form of that race has been boosted by the second since. With a clear round, I’d be disappointed if he didn’t go very close.

I’m going to take a chance on ONE COOL POET (15:20), who is best known for winning three times during the same Galway Festival week a few years back. While he’s not run to that level for a period of time, he did show a bit of his old spark in a race over hurdles on Monday.

He got a quiet hold up ride and I think he performed better than the bare form would tell you. He’s running off a mark of 86 and with his trainer in great form, I think he’s worth looking at.

FALCON EIGHT (16:30) was a shade disappointing at Royal Ascot last time and had to settle for the minor honours, but we all know how good he can be on his day. He won the Chester Cup in 2021 off top weight and that always takes some doing.

On his last run over hurdles, he finished an unlucky third in a Grade 2 at Fairyhouse earlier. He got a few traffic problems which shouldn’t occur in a race with just 10 runners, and I think it’s fair to say, there’s probably a few in here who might not be at the front end when the heats up.  

In the Galway Hurdle (17:05), I’ve gone with two against the field. The aforementioned SANTA ROSSA might have got away quite lightly with a 10lb rise for winning the Grimes Hurdle the way she did. I’d half expected her to go up a few more that than. She’s a mare whose run style could be suited to the way this race is often run. She likes to be ridden handy and it can be difficult to win a Galway Hurdle if you get too far back early on.

Saying that, though, the other horse I like is often ridden patiently and that’s the horse that has snuck in at the bottom. GLAN has not been at her best in her previous two starts but won a good race at Fairyhouse earlier in the season and could still be fairly treated.

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