The Galway Hurdle is the big race on day four of the Galway Summer Festival and Kevin Blake has two tips to consider on the card...
"Returning to this well-run two miles might well bring about more improvement. He looks fairly treated off a mark of 140 and he is my selection."
The Galway Festival continues on Thursday and hopefully I can point you in the direction of a winner or two.
The main event of the day is the Guinness Galway Hurdle (18:15) and cases can be made for most of the runners.
The one I'm siding with is a horse that I've been keen on for quite some time, the Emmet Mullins-trained Cape Gentleman. The five-year-old was a smart stayer on the Flat, winning the Irish Cesarewitch last season and running well in the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot off a mark of 100 last time.
While Cape Gentleman clearly stays well on the Flat, his strong-travelling and slick-jumping style suggest that he might prove best around the minimum trip over hurdles. This theory is supported by the fact that he produced his best effort yet over hurdles when dropped to the minimum trip to win the Dovecote Novices' Hurdle at Kempton in February.
Returning to this well-run two miles might well bring about more improvement. He looks fairly treated off a mark of 140 and he is my selection.
Poet can do it for Punters
The other one I like is the Matthew Smith-trained Punters Poet in the Arthur Guinness Handicap Hurdle (18:45).
He's a horse that changed hands a few times earlier in his career and took time to find his feet for his current trainer, but he has finally started to come good in the last few months, winning twice in handicap hurdle company.
His most recent win came when he dropped back to the minimum trip at Roscommon and the style of it suggests he could well find more improvement.
While he was a little bit disappointing on the Flat on his latest start, that can readily be excused as he just seems to be a better horse over hurdles than on the level. This course and distance should suit him well and a bold bid from him would not surprise.
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