Galway Races 2021 Tips, Odds and Analysis
- Galvin to win the Galway Plate at 13/2 with SportNation
- Spyglass Hill to win the Galway Plate each way at 12/1 with William Hill
- Felix Desjy to win the Galway Hurdle at 8/1 with 888Sport
The end of July always heralds the arrival of the Galway Races, one of Ireland's most premier horse racing festivals.
Like everything in 2020, the races themselves will be rather different. This festival is unique as it is more known for the fun and entertainment it offers to the masses, rather than the brilliant racing on offer, and unfortunately this year there won't be any crowds descending upon Ballybrit. This still promises to be seven days of brilliantly intriguing horse racing however, and there will be plenty to get stuck into.
As always there will have to be equine winners and losers, and with that in mind I have put together a list of a few horses to keep in mind over the next week or so.
The ground at @Galway_Races (Monday-Sunday) is good to yielding (Flat) & good (NH). 10-12mm of rain (approx) today, mainly dry until racing Monday with risk of further 12-14mm of rain (approx) after racing on Monday— IHRB (@ihrb_ie) July 24, 2020
The Galway Plate
The Galway Plate takes place on Wednesday, and is a race steeped in history in which a plethora of horses need to negotiate 2 miles and 6 furlongs around the tricky bends and undulations at Ballybrit racecourse.
This is typically a fervently competitive handicap and 2020 looks like another brilliant renewal, at least on paper. Willie Mullins is mob-handed as you'd expect, spearheaded by the talented Easy Game, who two runs ago got within a length of Faugheen in the Grade One Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown. He fell in the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival thereafter, but it would be harsh to rule him out here on that basis off a mark of 154.
He also boasts a win at Galway as a novice hurdler which always bodes well here as experience of the racecourse is crucial. He will be lumbered with a big weight however, and I find it tough to back a horse in a big handicap like this off the back of such a fall and with little experience in similar contests. I'm happy to swerve him here, but it's the understatement of the century to say it would not surprise me were he to be good enough to take this.
Early Doors is a good horse and a Cheltenham Festival winner, but he has not impressed me at all over fences and I think the challengers he gets weight off are simply vastly better than him anyway. Us And Them is interesting, but I'm not sure how well handicapped he is and Everlastingpromise might struggle in a race this hot. The likes of Quamino and Blazer would strike me as being well handicapped sorts at big prices, but I'm just drawn towards Spyglass Hill and Galvin as the bets here.
Galvin gets 6 pounds from Easy Game and is my main bet in the race at 13/2 with SportNation. A smart hurdler who finished 6th in the Ballymore at Cheltenham, he has gone from strength to strength over the bigger obstacles this season. He was a brilliant 2nd in the 20 runner novices handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival, only finding the extremely promising Imperial Aura too good at the finish. This experience in a big field like that will serve him well here.
Galvin did fall on his only start at Galway to date, but that was on his chase debut and I'm happy to let that slide.
Spyglass Hill is extremely interesting at 12/1 with William Hill as he saw off Milan Native last time at Gowran Park in a beginners chase, with that horse going on to win brilliantly at the Cheltenham Festival. He will have to improve his jumping, but you can guarantee he has negotiated a fence about a thousand times at home since his last start with how Henry De Bromhead readies his charges.
The Galway Hurdle
This is probably the race I'm most excited about next week with the contest stacked full of promising sorts, but I think Felix Desjy is a cracking bet here at 8/1 with 888Sport.
Charles Byrnes' Wonder Laish will be very popular after his eye-catching comeback run, I'd suggest he will more than likely go off favourite, and his win at Fairyhouse last season was more than franked when the second, Tudor City won this very race thereafter. It is easy to suggest this horse is very well handicapped, but I think he's bumping into a Grade One horse here in Felix Desjy.
While Wonder Laish will get 7 pounds from that rival, I think there could be more than this between them and I'm happy to take him on here.
I'm a big fan of Canardier, but I'm not sure how well handicapped he is and I think the same can be said for Aramax, Shanning, Hunters Call and Turnpike Trip. I really think this race will come down to Aramon and Felix Desjy, the class acts of the affair.
Felix Desjy who has won here at Galway in the past, and was a superb novice hurdler who won the Moscow Flyer, was 5th in the Supreme Novices Hurdle and then went on to win the Top Novices' Hurdle at the Aintree Grand National Festival. That day he beat Aramon off level weights and on Thursday next, Felix Desjy will receive 4 pounds from that rival and that's enough to sway me towards Gordon Elliott's contender.
Felix Desjy can make up for lost time after missing last season through injury and showed he is at least alive and well when running away with what in truth was a farce of a contest at Navan last time out. He should strip fitter in this if avoiding the dreaded bounce and should take the world of beating in a brilliant contest.
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Others To Note At Galway
Abraham is the main one I’m interested in all week and will end up if he declares as my nap of the festival. It looks like he’ll go in the 7.45 on the Tuesday over 2 miles. He’s now rated 123 over hurdles since joining the Brassil team after 2 wins, yet he remains on a mark of 67 on the flat. To put this into perspective in 2016 he was second in the Premier Handicap behind Golden Spear here at Galway off 82. He’s thrown in on the level in my opinion and will take a lot of stopping.
Lariat is another who interests me off 79 for Adrian McGuinness looks the type who will put it all together one day. Placed off 89 when in the UK for Andrew Balding in September last year, and it would be no surprise were that charge to improve beyond all recognition for the application of money at Galway.
In the big race on Monday, the QR handicap, Jon Snow has always been mentioned by the Mullins camp as a potentially very smart horse and a mark of 84 could underestimate him here.
Saltonstall will run in the big one on Tuesday, the Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap, he of course won this last year, but he’s only 7 pounds higher and was brilliant that day. He showed 2 runs back in a big handicap at the Curragh that he’s more than capable again off a mark like this and you’d imagine he has been somewhat saved for this. Gavin Ryan will take 5 pounds off too, so in effect he is only 2 pounds higher than last year.
Joseph O’Brien has No Needs Never in a Premier Handicap n Sunday who I’m convinced will go close off a mark of 98, and he ran a blinder after being badly hampered to finish a 3 lengths 7th at Naas.
The Mee family always have a winner at Galway and Diamond Hill has won here at Galway 3 times. Wherever he does turn up, he’s worth a look. Same goes for their horse Millyinthemiddle for Emmet Mullins, who looks to have been somewhat held back for something like the mares handicap hurdle she is entered in.
Sheila Lavery tends to explode into life at Galway and Magnetic North remains on a good mark.
Listen To The #racehour Galway Festival Preview
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