Timeform pick out three bets on the opening day of the Galway Festival...
"...this could be a rare case of aces being trumped by kings, with King of The Picts looking better value at current odds for John Patrick Shanahan."
We might as well get it out of the way early on: Dermot Weld is almost certainly going to have lots of winners this week. The first race at 17:10 looks a pretty good microcosm for the week, in that it's very well contested yet Weld still appears to hold the aces, Diplomat currently a strong favourite. However, this could be a rare case of aces being trumped by kings, with King of The Picts looking better value at current odds for John Patrick Shanahan. Fairly useful on the Flat for this yard, he briefly went to Dessie Hughes before getting off the mark over timber on his first start back for Shanahan, beating Green Dragon in good fashion at Bellewstown. A fairly stout stayer on the level, King of The Picts will probably be seen to best effect round here if ridden forcefully by Andrew McNamara, and if he is he should give the Weld-trained favourite a fright at least.
It's not just humans like Weld who flourish at Galway, but certain equine performers too who prove suited by the quirky layout of the course. Cry For The Moon (18:45) mightn't be Ansar, but he still has a notably good record here, second on three of his four visits including the last two renewals of this contest. Jim Culloty's charge never really featured in the Ulster Derby last month on his reappearance, but it doesn't take a great leap of the imagination to see that this race again might have been the ultimate aim, so he's well worth chancing at odds comfortably into double figures from a 1 lb lower mark than last year.
That man Weld is likely to get his turn at some point in the day, and it could just be with Pay Day Kitten in the 19:45. Saturday's Wexford winner Irish Bulletin is expected to be popular, but he looked more a stayer there and may not find the short straight at Galway ideally suitable. On the other hand, Pay Day Kitten has looked perfectly able over a sharp 12 furlongs already, when scoring at Tipperary in May. That run, like the two before it, came on testing ground, but that's really the only question mark where Pay Day Kitten is concerned. It could be a late payday for Weld followers, but it surely won't be the last of the week.
Timeform Irish SmartPlays
All at Galway
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