Horse Racing Tips

Galway Festival Tips: Kevin Blake is backing a big run from Off You Go on Wednesday

Horse racing expert Kevin Blake
Kevin Blake has two to back at Galway on Wednesday

"Course form is always a plus at Galway and Off You Go ticks that box having made his only start at Galway a winning one over hurdles back in 2018."

The Galway Festival gets into groove on Wednesday and, while it remains a tough betting event as always, Kevin Blake is here to make a strong case for backing two runners...

The Galway Festival is a special meeting, a phenomenon really, and it is such a pity that just 1,000 people are permitted to attend this year's festivities. Alas, we can but play with the hand we're dealt.

It is a notoriously tough meeting for punters to come out on top, but with strong markets and ultra-competitive racing, that doesn't stop people having a right crack at finding winners all week and this column is no different.

Take a chance on McManus runner at big price

The feature event on Wednesday's card is the Tote Galway Plate (18:15) and, as usual, it looks an extremely tough race to work out. JP McManus looks to have a particularly strong hand and any one of his five runners wouldn't be a surprise winner, but I'm going to take a chance on one of the bigger-priced members of his team in the shape of Off You Go.

Trained by Cathal Byrnes, the eight-year-old has been a tremendous servant to his connections in valuable handicaps, winning the Ladbrokes Hurdle at Leopardstown twice and the Leopardstown Handicap Chase. Course form is always a plus at Galway and Off You Go ticks that box having made his only start at Galway a winning one over hurdles back in 2018.

Off You Go is highly likely to have been targeted at this race ever since his solid run in the Irish Grand National and with his trainer being in good form in recent weeks, a big run from him would not at all surprise.

Molly will be on her game again

The other race of interest in the Tote+ Bigger Dividends at Tote.ie Handicap Hurdle (18:45) and the one I like is the Dermot O'Brien-trained Molly Wedger.

The seven-year-old didn't make much impression early in her career, but for whatever reason she has taken off in no uncertain terms in her last few starts. She caught the eye of the stewards when finishing third in a maiden hurdle at Tramore at June and less than 24 hours later she returned to that track to land a gamble in a handicap hurdle in great style.

She made little of a 15lb rise for that win when once again returning to Tramore to win another handicap hurdle in similarly easy fashion earlier this month.

While she is now 28lb higher after those two wins, she is absolutely thriving and the style of her last win suggests that she might still be ahead of the handicapper off her revised mark.

The track should suit her well and she might well continue her rise up the ranks by winning this.

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