Bowe bids for the big one at Galway
Irish racing attention in the coming week will almost exclusively focus on the seven-day Galway Festival which kicked off on Monday evening, while some of the bigger battalions such as the O'Briens and Jim Bolger will be trying to pick up some of the big races at the Glorious Goodwood festival in England.
Good luck to all the Wexford connections making the trip west, with Galway staging the only racing in Ireland for the entire week. Colin Bowe and Shantou Flyer are set to take their chance in the big feature on Wednesday, the Galway Plate.
At the time of writing (Sunday), he was available at 14/1, with Road to Riches the favourite. He has a realistic chance of making the frame.
I attended the two-day meeting in Ballinrobe last Monday and Tuesday and a very pleasant experience it was. It is a lovely and very well-appointed track and it is easy to understand how it has won the track of the year title in recent years.
There was considerable Wexford interest and success in the jumps meeting on Tuesday. Colm Murphy made the long trip pay off in the two-mile plus handicap hurdle with Sharlanda (a well-backed 11/2) winning under a clever ride by Robbie Power. He stole a couple of lengths on the last bend and held on by half a length.
Jamie Codd put in an equally inventive ride in the bumper on Antimatter (7/1), trained by Prunella Dobbs in Wicklow; he pressed on up front and the Mullins hot favourite, West Burma (4/7), could not peg him back. Johnny Slevin was third on Steve Mahon's 25/1 shot, Riverrainshine.
Jonathan Moore added to his growing reputation in the featured novice hurdle when he made it all against just three rivals on Noel Meade's Rise of an Empire to beat off runners from Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins.
Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning won on Síamsaíocht at Leopardstown on Thursday night, and the pair went on to add a double at Down Royal on Friday night with favourite Stellar Mass in the listed race and with outsider Bronntide (14/1).
Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore combined to pick up all three big races at Leopardstown on Thursday evening with Douglas Mcarthur, Promise to be True and Churchill.
They went on to Ascot for one of the summer highlights on Saturday and picked up almost £700,000 stg. in the King George and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes with a fine front-running Ride on Highland Reel. Aidan did not forget the roots as he also won the first at Gowran Park on Saturday with Butterflies at a handsome 14/1.
P.J. McDonald from Taghmon continued his impressive run with five wins in six days all over the north of England; he covers a lot of miles but he is certainly making it pay with many of his wins at very decent prices.
His wins were on Hazely (9/2) for Jim Bethell at Beverley on Monday; Spirit of Zebedee (6/4f) for J.J. Quinn at Catterick on Wednesday; Airton (7/1) for Jim Bethell at Doncaster on Thursday; Hilary J (4/1) for Anne Duffield at Thirsk on Frida, and Indastar (10/1) for M. Herrington at Newcastle on Saturday.
Jimmy Fortune from Ferns has been having a quiet enough time lately but did score during the week on Jimenez (11/2) for Brian Meehan at Sandown.
Pat Dobbs from Enniscorthy won on the all-weather at Chelmsford on Tuesday on Under Siege (7/1), and Jimmy Quinn from New Ross won on Trulee Scrumptious (6/1) at Newmarket on Friday.