• Galway Festival - Monday

    McParlan can ride them to sleep on Son Of Hypnos

    Son Of Hypnos might be the answer to a most competitive renewal of the €100,000 Connacht Hotel Qualified Riders Handicap on the opening day of the 2021 Galway Festival. 

    A wide draw doesn’t help Kevin Smith’s charge, but if Noel McParlan can secure a prominent position early on, the four-year-old can outrun his odds. He has been competing over hurdles of late but ran nicely from the front rank on his most recent start on the Flat over 11 furlongs on good ground at Limerick in April. 

    A three-time winner over a furlong further late last season, he could improve as he tries this trip (on the Flat) for the first time and as any rainfall won’t hinder his chances, he might well be up to reaching the frame at least. There are any number of contenders with the likes of The Names Jock and Hook Up certainly feared. 

    The Claytonhotelgalway.ie Handicap (4.40) is another wide-open heat but perhaps the Sheila Lavery-trained Dagoda has a chance. Another that won’t mind any ease in the ground, she has finished runner-up on her last two starts, going very close over this trip at Limerick and again running a big race from the front when losing out to race favourite Sassified over an extended mile at Killarney.

    It isn’t any easier for punters in the Galwaybayhotel.com & Galmont.com Handicap (5.15) where Mary Salome might run into a place for Andrew Kinirons and Luke McAteer. She has certainly turned a corner since the beginning of June and is undoubtedly better than she showed at Killarney last time. Obviously the draw might have been kinder as she bids to bounce back. 

    Willie Mullins and Wayne Lordan could have the winning of the Easyfix Handicap (5.45) with Mr Coldstone which is blessed with a low single-figure draw. This is his first start in a Flat handicap and a mark of 65 is based on three runs as a two-year-old for Johnny Murtagh in 2018. He was a winner over hurdles on his first start for the champion jumps trainer at Tramore on New Year's Day and while he hasn’t added to that in four jumps starts since, there is every reason to believe that he is very well treated as he reverts to the Flat. 

    Another open race will be the Eventus Handicap (6.45) and Henry de Bromhead and Billy Lee must have a chance of being placed with Catena Zapata which is also having his first run in a handicap and is favourably drawn. He goes over this trip for the first time having run well behind Joseph O'Brien’s UAE-import Mazagran in a rated race over a mile on yielding to soft ground at Limerick and could run a big race from the front. 

    Aidan O'Brien is taken to land the opening Claregalwayhotel.ie Irish EBF Maiden (4.10) with Anchorage which made a promising debut at Naas at the beginning of the month. With the run under his belt, he can reverse form with that day’s runner-up I Am Magic and might also be preferred to Dermot Weld’s newcomer Duke De Sessa.  

    Joseph O'Brien might have prospects with Truce in the concluding Monami Construction Qualified Riders Maiden (7.15). She’s run with promise at both the Curragh and Killarney and there might be more improvement this time in yet another competitive race. 

    Selections: 4.10 Anchorage; 4.40 Dagoda (NAP); 5.15 Mary Salome; 5.45 Mr Coldstone; 6.15 Son Of Hypnos; 6.45 Catena Zapata; 7.15 Truce. 

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