Rachael Blackmore

Rachael Blackmore: Exclusive verdicts on Monday's Galway runners

Rachael Blackmore Betfair ambassador
How will Rachael fare on day one at Galway?

Rachael returns to Betting.Betfair with the verdict on her two rides on the opening day of the Galway Festival

  • Rachael rides two on Monday at Galway

  • Stiff track should suit Your Honor

  • Blinkers on Snapius in tough handicap

It's Galway week this week, it's the highlight of our summer! It's a week that we all look forward to. There's always a fantastic atmosphere in Galway, the crowds are great. There are people who go to the Galway Races who might not go racing at any other stage during the year.

It's a great place to ride a winner too, it's a brilliant feeling if you're lucky enough to be coming back into the winner's enclosure there.

The actual track is unique too. It's tight, but it's stiff, the finish is tough, particularly on the chase track. You see horses who act around Galway, if they take to it, who can go back year after year and run well again.

And for us, it's a different dynamic to usual, with the mixed cards, with flat jockeys and National Hunt jockeys sharing the weigh room. I'm looking forward to it.

17:10 Galway - Your Honor

I ride Your Honor for James Nash in the first race, the novice hurdle, and he goes there with a chance. It will be my first time to ride Your Honor, but he looks very straightforward.

He ran well at Ballinrobe in May on his last run over hurdles, and I think that the stiffer track at Galway will suit him better. He won easily over hurdles on soft ground at Limerick in March, and he has won on soft ground on the flat, so he won't mind any more rain that falls.

He stays well, and he has plenty of experience going into the race, he is more experienced than most of his rivals, and that should stand to him at Galway.

There are plenty of unexposed horses in there, including Willie Mullins' horse Mystical Power, Annie Power's first foal, but Your Honor has a higher handicap rating than all of his rivals who have ratings, and I hope that he can go well.

17:40 Galway - Snapius

My ride in the other hurdle race on Monday's card is also for James Nash, Snapius in the two-mile handicap hurdle. I have a hundred per cent record on Snapius, so I hope that I can maintain that!

He was good when I rode him in that maiden hurdle at Cork in March. He stayed on well to get the better of Calico, and she has won three times since. She now has a rating of 123, and Snapius gets to race here off a mark of 109.

It's a really competitive race, and it's a tight handicap. There are 23 horses declared, including reserves, and they are all rated within 5lb of each other.

Snapius was a good horse on the flat for Joseph O'Brien, he reached a flat rating of 84, and I think that there could be more to come from him now over hurdles. He handled heavy ground well at Cork, so he won't mind if there is more rain. And James is fitting blinkers for the first time, that could sharpen him up.

Watch our expert podcast panel on Galway and Goodwood below...


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