Joseph O'Brien: Six chances on Galway Hurdle day and a quintet of runners in new Racing League

Betfair Ambassador Joseph O'Brien
Joseph O'Brien has three runners in the Galway Hurdle on Thursday

Joseph O'Brien has three runners in the Galway Hurdle on day four of the Galway Festival, while he also has some nice chances in the inaugural Racing League at Newcastle...

"He gets in off a very low weight here and he seems to be progressing, but he would prefer a sound surface and the rain is a negative for him."

- Joseph O'Brien on Winner Take Itall

Galway

Might find a few of these too good

17:10 - Speak Easy

Speak Easy is a 10-race maiden over fences and while he has a solid level of form in the book, there are a couple of chasing debutants that might be too classy for him.

Needs to improve his jumping stepped up in class

17:45 - Druid's Altar

Druid's Altar is a four-year-old that made it second-time lucky over fences at Limerick last time. His jumping was still quite novicey there and he'll need to improve in that regard if he is to make a successful step up in class here.

Three decent chances in the Galway Hurdle

18:15 - Winner Takes Itall, Band Of Outlaws and Embittered

The Galway Hurdle is a very special race and we always try to be well represented in it. We have three runners in it this year and the first one to talk about is Winner Takes Itall. He is a horse that has taken time to settle down, but he has become more relaxed over time and won a win-in-you're-in qualifier for this race at Bellewstown last time. He gets in off a very low weight here and he seems to be progressing, but he would prefer a sound surface and the rain is a negative for him.

Band Of Outlaws will always be a special horse here as he won the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival a couple of years ago. He went on to finish a very good third in this race later that year, but he got hurt soon after and missed a lot of time. His two runs since coming back have been encouraging, so hopefully he can run well here.

Embittered has running over fences for the last year or so, but he did finish a very good third in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2020 in what was his last run over hurdles. If he jumps slickly enough back over hurdles, he might have a sneaky chance.

Bold bid expected in hat-trick attempt

19:15 - Banbridge

Banbridge is unbeaten in two starts over hurdles and beat a subsequent winner in his latest start at Roscommon. He has taken well to hurdling and I think this track will suit him. Hopefully he'll make a bold bid.

Newcastle

The Racing League has been the plan for her

18:25 - Chitra

Chitra is our first runner in the Racing League, which is a new competition that we are very excited to be involved in over the next six weeks.

Chitra was bought with this competition in mind back in February as we thought she had an ideal profile for it having won at Newcastle and Lingfield in the past. We were delighted with her first run for us when she finished second at Navan earlier this month and we feel she has come on from that run. The handicapper put her up 4lb for that, but we hope she can still be good and competitive off her revised mark.

Hoping for a solid run on stable debut

18:55 - Irish Acclaim

We picked up Irish Acclaim in a claimer at Dundalk a couple of weeks ago with a view to running him in this competition. We obviously haven't had him for very long, but he seems best suited by all-weather surfaces and hopefully he'll like Newcastle. We are flying a bit blind with him, but hopefully he'll run a solid race.

Form reads well and she should have a good chance

19:25 - French Rain

French Rain is a filly we like that has run very well in her two runs for us. We are getting to know her better all the time and the form of her latest run reads well. We feel this surface and straight track will suit her and we'd like to think that she has a good chance.

Won well last time but this is a step up in class

19:55 - Sincerest

Sincerest really came good in blinkers at Killarney last time, winning very well indeed. The handicapper put her up 16lb for that win, but such a rise put her in the mix for this competition. This is obviously a huge step up in class, but we want to throw her in amongst them and see how she gets on. If she goes well, she could be one to make a second appearance in this competition.

Solid chance if taking to all-weather

20:25 - Bright Idea

Bright Idea has run well in all his starts this season and has been giving the impression that cheekpieces might help him, so we're going to try them on him here. He is untried on all-weather surfaces, but we feel it should suit him. He is well drawn and looks to have a solid chance.

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