It was a great thrill to see my sister Jody win on the opening day of the Galway Festival. She had a rough winter of it with a bad injury but hopefully it is all behind her now and it’s onwards and upwards.
I have three rides on the third day of the meeting. I start with Diamond Hill (5.10). She won a Flat amateur race at Bellewstown the last day. She showed a liking of the track to overcome a lot of trouble in running to win here last year for Patrick as well.
It’s fair to say she has probably been disappointing so far over hurdles but she has the experience to call upon now and going back to a track she obviously likes will be a help, albeit she has been beaten over hurdles here since she won there.
Charles Byrnes’s Sky Marshal ran a lovely race in Cork the last day and looked like she might win going to the last and got beat. We’ll be hopeful that we’ll beat more than will beat us.
Castle North (5.40) was very under par for whatever reason in Ballinrobe the last day. He never got going. I don’t really have an excuse for him there.
He’ll have to put his best foot forward here. He’s been frustrating enough to be honest. You wouldn’t say he is thrown in off a mark of 116. We’ll have a go but I imagine there are better handicapped horses in the race.
It is his first run in a handicap so if you can forgive him his last day he might have a chance, but that run was only last week and it was very below par.
This is probably going the wrong way round for him but his work at home has been nice the last couple of weeks and if he can show any bit of his old sparkle he is a class individual.
A lot will depend on the early part of the race, I suppose. If we can get him into a nice rhythm and get him on a going day, I think he would have a live chance at a big price. But you just don’t know what you are going to get with Yorkhill.
As ever the Galway Plate is a wide open race. All the horses at the top like Black Corton, Peregrine Run, Coney Island, Mengli Khan have shown real good form on their day.
It’s whether you go for graded form in a handicap or if there is one at the bottom that’s improving.
Yorkhill has only ever run in conditions and graded races. His handicap mark has slipped to 154 from 160 plus.
He is a smart horse but it depends how well he behaves and what Yorkhill turns up.