As the Galway Festival gets underway, County Meath handler Noel Meade will have many chances, but none would be more welcome than landing the week’s feature race, the Galway Plate with Muirhead.
Priced at 25/1, it would appear the 10-year-old faces a big ask, but as you dissipate the race further, the Flemensfirth gelding looks massively over priced.
The last ten winners of this race have a number of striking similarities. All ten had run in 16 or fewer chases, winning over at least 2m4f in the process. And nine of those ten finished in the first five on their last chase start.
Although eliminating horses that do not meet these criteria still leaves around 20 of the current 54 entries, it is Muirhead that stands out as the value.
Meade’s charge has been in fair form this year, with a fourth place to subsequent Grade 1 winner Mount Benbulben in February, being followed up with a respectable sixth place finish in the Irish Grand National.
The 10- year-old then went onto to perform well in the Group 3 Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown, running on to claim fourth behind Quentin Collonges. He has since run on the flat, finishing a rather disappointing fourth of six in a relatively weak contest. However it is probable that was a mere warm-up for the main event at Galway this week.
Davy Condon’s likely mount last tasted victory at Galway, so know and appreciates the track and comes into this year’s renewal off a seven pounds lower mark than when finishing sixth in this race last year.
Although he has yet to enter the winner’s enclosure this season, Muirhead is sure to give backers a run for their money, and with the first four home covering each-way customers, Noel Meade’s hope is well worth taking a chance on.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing