Galway Races: Preview of the seven-day racing festival

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The Galway Races is one of the highlights of the Irish racing calendar with a seven-day feast of equine action.

Thousands of punters flock to the west of Ireland to enjoy the dual-code renewals. All the big name trainers from both jumps and flat are there including Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliot, and Aidan O’Brien.

With a host of races across the week, we pick out the best bets from the biggest renewals.

Connacht Handicap – 7:40, Monday

The feature race on the opening day sees the return of star mare, Limini. Willie Mullins’ seven-year-old charge hasn’t raced since finishing third in the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham 2017.

This will also be her first flat race since 2014. But what can we expect from the former Cheltenham winner? Taking the previous-mentioned caveats into consideration, she still oozes class and connections reckon she’s well ready to take on the field.

She’s 11/8 to win this 2m 1f handicap and should take all the beating.

BMW Mile Handicap – 7:40, Tuesday

Willie Mullins’ Riven Light will look to defend his crown in this 1m renewal. With over €70,000 on the line, this is always a highly-competitive handicap.

Mullins’ charge justified favouritism last year with a superb run, staying on well to win. However, he’ll run off a much higher mark this time around. And that could let in some of the other runners.

Brian Ellison’s Baraweez never finished outside the top-six in any race at Galway. And the eight-year-old has two wins at Chester this season, too.

Galway Plate – 7:40, Wednesday

The 2m 6f renewal of the Galway Plate is one of the feature races of the entire week. There’s over €147,000 for the winner here and most of the big names are involved.

The likes of Slowmotion, Tully East, De Plotting Shed and Jury Duty are all at or near the head of the betting. But the UK raiders have done very well in the Plate in recent seasons. And it may prove profitable to look in that direction.

Harry Fry’s Drumcliff has three chase wins from five and the step-up in trip here could suit. He won a 2m 4f handicap at Uttoxeter back in May and stayed on well there. The conditions may be a hindrance but he could be worth an each-way punt.

Galway Hurdle – 4:35, Thursday

When picking a winner in the Galway Hurdle, it’s proven profitable to avoid the top of the betting. No favourite has won this race in 11 years. Winners of this race tend to average around the 16/1 mark.

And that’s unfortunate news for Willie Mullins’ Whiskey Sour. The former Festival winner was victorious in the Guinness Handicap here back in 2017. But the five-year-old hasn’t won since.

Instead, look to John J Walsh’s Davids Charm. The seven-year-old won here last year and looks in great nick coming into this renewal.

He should enjoy the cut in the ground having won in similar conditions back in December at Fairyhouse.

Click here for more Galway Races odds

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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Cian Carroll

Starting life as a football columnist for his local paper in Dundalk, Cian has written for a number of media outlets with pieces published in The Birmingham Mail and Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo. A lover of football, GAA, boxing, rugby and MMA, he’s a big Aston Villa and Dundalk fan. He can be regularly spotted on various mountain tops.