Alan Dudman had his second successive [12.0] winner yesterday with Sirjack Thomas, and he previews the seventh and final day at Ballybrit on Sunday...
"But we've seen how horses can thrive for a quick turnaround in the past six days, and I am hoping for a better show. Ryan can add to his four winners for the week and his claim is so attractive in these big handicaps."
Galway can not only test the patience and the nerve - especially in-running with the umpteen and one hard luck stories, but it can also be a fierce examination of the stamina. Cheltenham can't lay a glove on Ballybrit on that front, and whilst it is very much a Galway from the sofa this year, racegoers hopefully will get the full experience for 2021.
It was great to see Sirjack Thomas get his head in front yesterday; if ever there was a horse made for the track it's him. I'll be heaping praise on his trainer a little later, but a strong word for apprentice Gavin Ryan who rode a double yesterday and gave Sirjack a perfect Galway ride. He got a few bumps, but that was to be expected. However, Ryan was brave as he sat tight on the inner and switched late - and the late surge with some acceleration has been a key aspect of the meeting this week.
I'm not a fan of saying every apprentice is "well worth" his claim as it's often a cliche that means nothing, but 5lb with Ryan around here is a bit of a steal at the moment.
Onto the seventh and final afternoon.
McGuinness can win third handicap of the week
Starting with high praise then, for a man with the knack of producing these handicappers spot-on for these good prizes, and that's Ado McGuinness. And I cannot let the trainer's pair go with Laugh A Minute and Current Option for the feature of the day - the Ahonoora.
Horses can back-up in this from the start of the week, and it looks a good opportunity for Njord to go close again following the agonising defeat earlier in the week. And probably the longest ever wait for a photo! However, he is likely to be a little overbet and too short, so I will be going elsewhere.
1 win from 3 runs this year. Latest win at Limerick in June. Creditable sixth of 16 in handicap (7/1) at the Curragh (6.3f, good to soft) 15 days ago.
|18/07/20||Curragh||6/16||Flat||6f 63y||Gd/sft||9st 11lbs||R. P. Whelan||10|
|17/06/20||Limerick||1/7||Flat||6f 150y||Good||9st 10lbs||R. P. Whelan||7.6|
|28/02/20||Dundalk||2/6||Flat||7f||Slow||9st 5lbs||R. P. Whelan||17|
|21/09/19||Ayr||24/24||Flat||6f||Gd/frm||B||9st 3lbs||Rossa Ryan||19.5|
|19/07/19||Hamilton Park||11/13||Flat||6f 6y||Soft||9st 12lbs||David Egan||11.61|
|29/06/19||Newcastle||2/6||Flat||6f||Slow||9st 3lbs||Andrea Atzeni||6.8|
|11/05/19||Haydock Park||3/5||Flat||6f||Gd/sft||9st 5lbs||Richard Kingscote||2.8|
|27/04/19||Leicester||4/6||Flat||7f||Good||9st 2lbs||Andrea Atzeni||5.93|
|10/11/18||Doncaster||4/14||Flat||6f 2y||Gd/sft||9st 3lbs||Andrea Atzeni||5.5|
|26/08/18||Deauville||2/11||Flat||5f 212y||Gd/sft||8st 12lbs||Silvestre De Sousa||-|
|04/08/18||Doncaster||1/4||Flat||6f 2y||Gd/frm||9st 2lbs||Andrea Atzeni||3.24|
|22/06/18||Ascot Commonwealth Cup||18/22||Flat||6f||Gd/frm||9st 3lbs||Andrea Atzeni||60.29|
|06/06/18||Hamilton Park||3/5||Flat||6f 6y||Gd/frm||8st 10lbs||Andrea Atzeni||3.46|
|02/05/18||Ascot||4/8||Flat||6f||Soft||9st 1lbs||Andrea Atzeni||10.82|
|14/09/17||Doncaster||1/22||Flat||6f 111y||Good||8st 12lbs||Andrea Atzeni||17|
|25/08/17||York||3/17||Flat||7f||Good||9st 5lbs||Andrea Atzeni||7.7|
|28/07/17||York||2/10||Flat||7f||Gd/sft||9st 2lbs||Harry Bentley||3.74|
|15/07/17||Ascot||3/9||Flat||7f||Good||9st 2lbs||Silvestre De Sousa||2.92|
I was with Current Option on Tuesday in the BMW Mile behind his stablemate Saltonstall - but he never got involved in that at all. He's lightly-raced for a 4yo from 99 and there are handicaps to be had over 1m and a stiff 7f. If he can produce his second at the Curragh he has a chance. He was a bit too far back on that occasion and it looked like one that slipped through the fingers.
But we've seen how horses can thrive for a quick turnaround in the past six days, and I am hoping for a much improved show. Ryan can add to his four winners for the week and his claim is so attractive in these big handicaps.
Current Option has a low draw, and so does his stablemate Laugh A Minute. In fact they are two similar types with fairly high ratings in the 90s and 100s, and both formerly trained by top handlers in the UK in Roger Varian and William Haggas.
The owners of these horses The Dooley Thoroughbreds seem a very good operation with how they buy these cast-offs from the UK, although cast-offs they most certainly aren't. They seem to thrive when they get to McGuinness. I'm fairly sure the owners are Manchester United fans, so they'll be in great spririts following their end to the season, even if they haven't been able to attend the meeting this year.
10/1, fourteenth of 18 in handicap at this course (8.6f, good to soft) 5 days ago. Others more persuasive.
|28/07/20||Galway||14/18||Flat||1m 123y||Gd/sft||H||9st 8lbs||R. P. Whelan||15.66|
|27/06/20||Curragh||2/18||Flat||7f||Good||H||9st 7lbs||R. P. Whelan||9.38|
|12/06/20||Curragh||12/17||Flat||1m||Good||9st 4lbs||C. T. Keane||8.07|
|14/09/19||Leopardstown||1/17||Flat||7f||Good||8st 12lbs||R. P. Whelan||8|
|30/08/19||Curragh||2/25||Flat||1m||Good||8st 4lbs||N. M. Crosse||19.05|
|17/08/19||Cork||2/17||Flat||7f||Good||9st 10lbs||C. T. Keane||7.8|
|18/06/19||Thirsk||1/11||Flat||7f||Gd/sft||9st 2lbs||Paul Hanagan||2.38|
|28/05/19||Brighton||2/5||Flat||7f 211y||Gd/frm||9st 5lbs||Oisin Murphy||2.91|
|24/04/19||Epsom Downs||3/6||Flat||1m 113y||Gd/frm||9st 5lbs||James Doyle||2.12|
|26/10/18||Newbury||3/14||Flat||1m||Gd/sft||9st 2lbs||Gerald Mosse||2.98|
|10/10/18||Kempton Park||2/12||Flat||7f||Std/slow||9st 2lbs||Oisin Murphy||7.5|
It's worth backing Laugh A Minute too at [12.0], as this horse tanked through the Group 3 Chipchase when trained by Varian. He has a draw on the inside in 3 and seems to act on both good and good to soft. His run in the Scurry last time was a fair effort over the extended 6f and he might travel with a bit of style to utilise a little lay back of your stake too.
With both 10/1 on the Sportsbook, I'll play the duo too. It's also an EXTRA PLACE SPECIAL on the Sportsbook.
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Back Laugh A Minute @ [12.0] and Current Option @ [12.0] in the 16:20 at Galway