The Galway Festival is one of the best weeks of the year and certainly one of the favourites in my calendar.

As kids growing up, we’d always be there for the week. We’ve have taken a house and would have gone racing for a few days and visited the beach for the others. It’s a family holiday that has always been a huge part of our lives.

As we got older, we started going with friends and then, as we got older still and got our riders licences, it was all about trying to get a winner there. I was delighted to do that in 2012 as I rode Muzak for a brilliant local family called the Monroes.

It’s always a great week – it’s a great city and it will be buzzing again this year.

Wednesday fancies

Ena Baie  would have a good chance if she reproduces her third at Punchestown on her penultimate start. She wasn’t at her best last time out, but that was only 13 days ago and her connections are running her back quickly, so she’s got to be OK at home (16:35).

Annie G   bolted up last time out at Listowel and Henry De Bromhead’s horses continue to be in grand form. Her second to Gypsy Island reads well, too. She’ll probably go from the front and will be hard to catch, especially with her allowances (17:10).

I don’t think Lasparas  will be a huge price, but he looked good at Tramore last time and should take all the beating under Paul Townend (17:45).

In the big race itself, the Galway Plate (18:15), I think Koshari  is going to be tough to beat under Brian Hayes. It’s always key to carry under 11st in this race and this is horse is rated 10lb higher over hurdles, so looks well-in.

He’s clearly not been the easiest to train, but he’s had four runs this calendar year, so that would suggest he’s having a good run of things and this success would repay his connections’ patience.

Benefit Run  runs for Ross [O’Sullivan]. He was disappointing the last day without reason, but that happens with horses – they do have off days. Her owners are local, so it would be great if she could run with credit for (19:15).

Dad [Ted Walsh] has a runner in the bumper (20:15). Eternal Story  has a nice way of going at home. You really don’t know how they’ll go first time out – it’s their first day at school, and you don’t know what you’re up against – but he’s a nice horse for the future.

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