Galway Festival SmartPlays: Thursday July 31

Gordon Elliott can take the Galway Hurdle
Gordon Elliott can take the Galway Hurdle

Timeform pick out the best bets on Galway Hurdle day.

"Form on the Flat and in good handicaps tends to count for plenty and Bayan matches both better than most."

Northern Rocked (15:00) has already been used by his yard at their favourite meeting, winning a valuable seven-furlong handicap here 12 months ago, and he should be cherry ripe after a recent pipe-opener. The ultra-consistent Sretaw may have to make do with the runner-up spot for a sixth time running, with handicap debutant Shalamzar a possible fly in the ointment.

Icy Reply is a big price in the 16:15 given she just about sets the standard on her recent win at Tipperary for this rider. The drop back to two and a half might shouldn't pose a problem, even at this track, so she gets the vote. Pink Hat and Desertmore Stream head the dangers.

The Galway Hurdle is as well-contested as you'd expect. Form on the Flat and in good handicaps tends to count for plenty and Bayan matches both better than most. He ran a stormer when third in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham on his last hurdles run in March and arrives here in good nick after adding to his tally on the Flat at Leopardstown in July. Plinth, Parlour Games, Thomas Edison and Pearl Castle make up a lengthy shortlist.

Timeform Irish SmartPlays
All at Galway

Back Northern Rocked in the 15:00
Back Icy Reply in the 16:15
Back Bayan in the 16:55

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