Galway Festival Tips: Melburnian to go well at decent price on day six

Galway Festival
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Alan Dudman scored with his advised [12.0] winner Great White Shark yesterday, whilst his other selection Bay Hill ran well in the Blazers. Our man for Ballybrit has three bets for Saturday...

"Her most taking piece of form was a real standout last winter when landing the October Handicap by a good margin."

Back Melburnian Win and Place @ BSP in the 17:15 at Galway

It was lovely for Great White Shark to get her head in front yesterday, but what a grand servant the grey Bay Hill is. If ever a race captured the essence of Galway; it was the Blazers on Friday. But where an earth did Cusp Of Carabelli come from? The fact nobody knew he was there until there camera switch explains the [7.6] low for a horse that wasn't beaten far at all.

Trade the front-runner, and back Martin's Melburnian

One horse I am very sweet on for Saturday goes in the best race on the card as we revert to an all Flat day. It's not quite Galway as we know it, but I think the separate days for the codes have worked quite well.

Even Tudor City is back for a bit more glory in the Premier Handicap at 17:15.

As admirable as he is, I like his fellow Tony Martin inmate Melburnian. She's a really interesting runner at a decent price and was a 9/1 chance on the Sportsbook last night.

Her most taking piece of form was a real standout last winter when landing the October Handicap by a good margin. I watched the replay again last night and she absolutely toyed with Halimi in that to win going away. Halimi is the top weight for this from 98 and races off 10st, and he's a hard horse to win with.

Not so the 5yo mare, who scooted away in heavy conditions at Leopardstown to win that valuable prize by nearly three lengths. She does seem to stay well, but she travelled with ease too when she was switched five wide off the turn.

Twelfth of 16 in handicap at Cork (12f, good, 13/2) 27 days ago, not ideally placed. Others more persuasive.

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Date Course/Class Pos Type Dist. Gng. HDGR WGT Jockey BSP
05/07/20 Cork 12/16 Flat 1m 4f Good 8st 13lbs C. T. Keane 9.18
26/10/19 Leopardstown 1/17 Flat 1m 4f 20y Heavy 8st 5lbs N. G. McCullagh 16
05/10/19 Newmarket (Rowley) 2/12 Flat 1m 4f Gd/sft 8st 6lbs Tom Marquand 7.46
13/09/19 Listowel 4/14 Flat 1m 4f Soft 9st 8lbs Seamie Heffernan 17.5
14/08/19 Gowran Park 6/10 Flat 1m 4f Soft 8st 4lbs W. M. Lordan 18.5
22/07/19 Ballinrobe 3/13 Flat 1m 4f 164y Gd/sft 9st 12lbs Seamie Heffernan 14.5
22/06/19 Down Royal 5/8 Flat 1m 2f 75y Gd/sft 9st 5lbs R. C. Colgan 21.23
14/06/19 Cork 4/10 Flat 1m 4f Gd/sft 8st 6lbs W. M. Lordan 61.36
12/05/19 Killarney -/14 Hurdle 2m 1f Good 11st 0lbs E. O'Connell 6.8
21/04/19 Cork 6/16 Hurdle 2m Gd/sft 11st 0lbs E. O'Connell 81.92
07/04/19 Fairyhouse 10/19 Hurdle 2m Gd/sft 10st 11lbs E. O'Connell 108.29
20/06/18 Maisons-Laffitte 1/15 Flat 1m 2f 97y Gd/sft 9st 5lbs -
07/06/18 Dieppe 9/12 Flat 1m 2f 206y Gd/sft 9st 4lbs Mlle Lucie Oger -
13/05/18 Le Pin Au Haras 1/11 Flat 1m 3f 150y Good 8st 13lbs -
13/04/18 Chantilly 7/14 Flat 1m 1f 207y Soft 9st 4lbs -
25/03/18 Machecoul 2/10 Flat 1m 3f 150y Soft 8st 13lbs -
04/03/18 Pornichet 5/11 Flat 1m 2f 97y Std 9st 2lbs Soufiane Saadi -
12/02/18 Pornichet 5/10 Flat 1m 2f 97y Good 9st 2lbs Soufiane Saadi -
18/11/17 Lyon Parilly 3/15 Flat 1m 1f 207y Gd/sft 9st 2lbs -
20/10/17 Clairefontaine 5/9 Flat 7f 210y Soft 9st 2lbs -
23/09/17 Craon 5/12 Flat 1m 44y Soft 9st 2lbs Soufiane Saadi -

Her latest comeback run was in the Cork Derby and she wasn't really asked a serious question, as she may well have needed that and will be spot on for this.

Drawn in five could throw up the possibility of getting hemmed in, but Galway can be maddening at times and we have to accept there will be trouble in running. It's not easy with this going off with Goodwood too, as there have been a lots of those on the Sussex Downs.

If we can get around [14.0], she looks Win and Place material.

I was drawn initially to Johnny Murtagh's Pearl Warrior, who is a real tough nut to crack from the front. He's got a good draw for those tactics in 4, and he can press on with attacking in the field. He should be a good trade too if we can start with [8.0] and lay off some.

He's a very versatile horse in terms of ground and tends to find a fair bit in a battle at the end of the race. Last time he ran off 88 in the Cork Derby and he needs something close to a personal best, but Murtagh's horses are good around here as they seem to get positive rides.

Two more to consider away from Premier Handicap

The maiden at 16:45 might not be everyone's cup of tea, but there's a bit to go on with most of the field bar two - and I thought Kevin Prendergast's Iron Sheriff ran well on his debut at Bellewstown.

He was a big price that day with a BSP of 26.0, but he overcome a tardy start and inexperience to run on really strongly at the end - which bodes well for taking to Galway.

A price of around [5.0] could be interesting as he seemed to be learning on the job in that run. The winner has since finished second and looks a stayer, so there are a few reasons to be positive about Iron Sheriff's chances for his veteran handler. The ground at Bellestown for his first run was probably a touch quicker than the official going description of yielding. A drop back in trip with the stiffer finish could play to his strengths.

Sirjack needs a bit of luck

If ever there was a horse made for Galway it's Sirjack Thomas - meeting trouble and him go hand in hand. He's already had a couple of hard-luck stories this season and he deserves a change in fortunes in the 15:45.

Thirteen runs since last win in 2019. Respectable sixth of 14 in handicap at Leopardstown (7.1f, good, 8/1) 21 days ago, hampered.

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Date Course/Class Pos Type Dist. Gng. HDGR WGT Jockey BSP
11/07/20 Leopardstown 6/14 Flat 7f 30y Good 9st 3lbs A. J. Slattery 12.68
02/07/20 Bellewstown 2/14 Flat 7f 196y Good H 9st 9lbs C. T. Keane 6.47
21/06/20 Leopardstown 16/16 Flat 7f Gd/sft H 9st 13lbs C. T. Keane 4.23
11/06/20 Gowran Park 4/14 Flat 7f Good H 9st 11lbs A. J. Slattery 29.45
05/03/20 Thurles 9/18 Hurdle 2m Heavy H 11st 12lbs D. J. McInerney 183.25
08/02/20 Naas 18/25 Hurdle 1m 7f 180y Soft H 11st 11lbs D. J. McInerney 635.06
25/01/20 Fairyhouse 16/25 Hurdle 2m Soft H 11st 10lbs D. J. McInerney 390
20/12/19 Dundalk 12/12 Flat 7f Std 8st 4lbs R. P. Cleary 21.63
06/12/19 Dundalk 8/13 Flat 1m Slow H 8st 5lbs R. P. Cleary 55
20/11/19 Dundalk 10/13 Flat 7f Slow 9st 6lbs Shane Foley 6.2
08/11/19 Dundalk 3/13 Flat 1m Std 9st 0lbs Shane Foley 9.99
18/10/19 Dundalk 4/14 Flat 7f Slow 9st 4lbs G. M. Ryan 11
01/10/19 Cork 13/15 Flat 7f Heavy 9st 7lbs R. C. Colgan 32
15/09/19 Curragh 13/24 Flat 6f Good 8st 9lbs Shane Foley 14.64
11/09/19 Listowel 7/15 Flat 7f Soft 9st 4lbs Shane Foley 15.5
30/08/19 Curragh 9/25 Flat 1m Good 8st 11lbs Declan McDonogh 70
07/08/19 Sligo 1/7 Flat 5f 160y Good 9st 8lbs C. T. Keane 4.24
01/08/19 Galway 11/18 Flat 1m 98y Gd/frm 9st 8lbs Oisin James Orr 40.32
19/07/19 Killarney 5/7 Flat 1m 40y Good 8st 9lbs N. M. Crosse 22
16/02/19 Gowran Park 14/20 Hurdle 2m Gd/sft H 11st 7lbs B. J. Cooper 50
13/10/18 Limerick 3/11 Flat 1m Soft 8st 13lbs Shane Foley 5.91

Nothing went his way at Leopardstown last time, so I expect a bit of drama again in this from his inside draw in 6.

However, his trainer and owners are well in credit with that terrific performance of the grand Saltonstall earlier in the week, and Sir Jack Thomas could follow a similar passage ie: wait on the inside then switch for a bit of racing room and hope for the best.

He's well treated from 81 considering he finished second at Bellestown in a 0-90 from 82. But I also like the angle of the near-9f with him as he does run on late, and Gavin Ryan also takes off 5lb.

Click here for Kevin Blake's course guide to Galway

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