Arguably no horse among the entries for the prestigious Galway Plate currently has recent form figures half as attractive as Mossey Joe and whilst his bold showings have come with a commensurate ratings hike, there’s reason to believe he can defy a big weight in the ‘City of the Tribes’ and land the spoils at 8/1.
Declan McNamara’s 10-year-old has long been a prolific scorer – winning eight of his 16 races under rules and both his starts in the point-to-point sphere – but he’s really turned it up a notch this term, taking the laurels in his last four outings.
Those triumphs may have come in the hunter chase sphere, but few would dispute their impressive nature.
Two runs back he took a Killarney field to the cleaners over 2m6f on soft ground, coming home 28 lengths to the good of his foes. He then stepped up on that showing in Stratford’s Champion Hunter chase, murdering rivals including two-time reigning Cheltenham Foxhunters champion Salsify by 20 lengths – this time on good ground – rewriting the course record in the process.
His punishment will be a big weight in the Plate, but thanks to the likely good going at Galway he’ll have every chance of showing his class.
Whilst no horse has carried a burden of more than 11st to victory on soft ground in the last 15 runnings, the trends suggest the higher-rated horses tend to shine when the going gets faster, with 10st12lbs the lowest winning weight in the last three good-to-firm renewals.
Mossey Joe is most certainly a horse that can go on any ground, having scored on going ranging from good to heavy, but could well be at his most impressive on a faster surface with victories in four of his five good going outings.
Furthermore, in spite of his irresistible form in hunter chases his official rating remains below the ceiling of his past achievements, with McNamara’s gelding rated some 3lbs higher than when considered good enough to take on Sir Des Champs in a Punchestown Grade 1 last term.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.