Willie Mullins ready for Pique Sous to enter Galway Hurdle battle

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The Willie Mullins-trained grey Pique Sous heads to the Galway Hurdle as joint favourite alongside Ted Veale.

Pique Sous has won twice this year over the 16 furlong distance, including a Grade Two win at Fairyhouse in April, and is 6/1 to triumph again here.

However in his last outing at Bellestown earlier this month, the grey gelding finished third behind winner Ted Veale over 12f despite being the pre-race favourite.

It was a surprising result for a horse which has won five of his last seven races, with the other result a solid run to sixth in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at Ascot in March.

That mishap at Bellestown came with jockey Katie Walsh, and it is worth noting that their only other ride together also failed to yield a win back in 2011.

Nevertheless the six-year-old has won five of 10 races over jumps, and has placed on eight occasions.

After winning the Grade 3 Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham, Ted Veale attempted to step up a Grade in April for the Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown and despite beating Champagne Fever, lost out to Jezki.

A return to flat racing proved a wise decision from AJ Martin and the six-year-old came home first at Bellestown ahead of Blackmail and Pique Sous, prompting an entry for the upcoming Galway Hurdle.

Ted Veale may only boast three wins from 11 over the fences, but it appears he is ready for the step up after his Punchestown struggles.

Rock Critic is at 7/1, and will attract plenty of attention given his form over the two-mile distance.

The eight-year-old has won comfortably in both his last two appearances over 16 furlongs, seeing off Seabass last time out in February at Fairyhouse.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.