Galway continues into Saturday for the penultimate afternoon at Ballybrit and Alan Dudman has two Flat bets for the card with a pair of Willie Mullins' horses in the feature hurdle...
"He's got plenty of handicap form in these big fields and won a Grade A race over the hurdles at Fairyhouse in April."
To say the Saturday afternoon card is a puzzler full of variety is an understatement. We have two maiden Flat races, a nursery, two big fields for 0-75 and 0-80 runners with a mares' bumper at the end. The best contest by some margin is the 16:45 Grade B hurdle - but it's not easy to find bets in some of the other races.
This looks a very winnable maiden with the experience in the field recording ratings of 79 and 76. But there isn't an awful lot to be excited about.
Dermot Weld has an interesting newcomer with a choice pedigree in the shape of Jassaar - and one of his 3yo newcomers ran very well earlier in the week. However, Jassaar has caught the bad draw again in 14 (Weld has had no luck at all on that front this week).
The other runner of note is Michael Halford's Spirit Of Bang Bang. He ran a nice race on debut at Leopardstown at a big price. It was a nice introduction from him in a contest where it paid to be handy - and he stayed on well enough to suggest he can win in the future.
A 9/2 price on the Sportsbook makes him interesting, but the draw in 11 is another kick in the teeth.
Trainer Mick Mulvany's horses have run well this week and he landed a race with Premier League at the start of the festival. His filly Silver Service will take all the beating in this and she looks the best bet of the day.
She has a lot in her favour with winning form last time out and a small rise to 82. She's tough and has plenty of experience with a decent draw in 2.
Her win at the Curragh last time was the first nursery of the year. She won that from 79 and she picked up ever so well to suggest the extra furlong with the stiff finish might well suit her.
The 2yo ran in a very good race at Navan on debut and that came on soft - so the ground shouldn't be too much of an inconvenience. The sun made an appearance too yesterday.
The Sportsbook 9/1 price on Dance Emperor was a touch bigger than I anticipated - so he is very much the bet in this 0-75.
He was based with Ed Walker previously but didn't really kick on in 2017 as a juvenile. Since joining current trainer Jessica Harrington, he has certainly given the impression he can win a handicap, and this 7f has a few runners that don't look particularly well treated.
From 75, Dance Emperor looks appealing from his run at the Curragh earlier in the season off a 1lb higher mark. He finished third behind the progressive Medal Of Honour, whilst the second in that race Bond Street ran a cracker behind Riven Light in one of the bigger handicaps on Tuesday. Bond Street ran off 95 in that.
As he is one of the younger horses, there should be some more improvement to come. He has an excellent draw in 2 and wears the visor for the first time for a new headgear combination. He's versatile with the ground and stays a bit further, so he looks a pretty solid each-way bet.
We're fairly accustomed to champion trainer Willie Mullins having nearly double-digit runners in these competitive handicap hurdles, and this 2m7f contest is no different. Eight stand their ground for Mullins at the time of writing and Meri Devie runs from top weight from 147 - although Niall Kelly takes off a bit of weight.
Shanning is the unexposed one from the yard and makes plenty of appeal from her handicap mark of 126, and it's likely she could be let in lightly here.
The 5yo mare won a novice at the track so ticks the Galway box, and the ground was soft on that occasion over 2m. It's a big step up in trip but she's bred to stay well so there's every chance she could improve for the new yardage. At around the 5/1 mark, she is probably about right as she could turn out to be an exciting prospect.
I wouldn't want to be laying her at that price, put it that way.
Low Sun at around [14.0] looks a reasonable win and place bet. More the place.
He's got plenty of handicap form in these big fields and won a Grade A race over the hurdles at Fairyhouse in April. He landed that from 123 and his jockey Katie O'Farrell has ridden him three times (including twice at Punchestown). He could be the type that takes a bit of knowing as he has been described as quite lazy.
Low Sun is another who steps up in trip, but it's a plus for me as he won a 2m Flat race at the Curragh - and he showed plenty of stamina in that. It will be his first try at this sort of trip near 3m, but with his lazy streak, he could have a bit more to give in a race he can utilise his stamina.
His latest run over hurdles was a solid effort behind Mari Devie at Punchestown where he was a little short of room but kept on - so I want to keep him in mind for the 5 Places market on the exchange.
Minimum Bet Guarantee for ALL races from Galway and Goodwood
Betfair's 'minimum bet guarantee' on all Class 1 and 2 races in the UK and Ireland - which means all customers are able to bet to win a minimum of £500 - has been extended to cover all races from Galway and Goodwood this week. T&Cs apply.