The white flag has been raised and every racing cliché is under starter’s orders in media across the country as the thousands of punters flock to Ballybrit to have a flutter on the geegees. Every socialite (ie, anyone who can afford a new gúna ) will be heading west. As the luvvies ship out, having swooned at Cillian M for two weeks, the cheap suits will dash in and locals grin nervously in a “smile cos it’s good for ya” sort of way. Yes, next week gives the region the cash boost — the fat on which we’ll live for the long lean winter. Yes, folks, forget the pools of puke and public displays of urination, ignore the traffic jams, the forced holidays, the smell of stale ale that hangs like a cloud over our heads and say “yes, this is all good for us. Offer it up, offer it up.” This is part of what we are. This is the diesel which drives the Galway engine, so grin and bear it and smile the smile of all smiles.
But who are the nags on whom we can bet our few shillings next week?
Here’s my brief guide to the equine creatures I think will feature prominently:
— Obviously, there will be a lot of money on Aye and Nay, from the stable of Hildegarde Naughton who is having an each way bet on
this one. Volvojunkets, Fecktheprinciples are also from this stable, but our selection is Eweturn, the son of Sheepoutthegate who we think will fare best in the conditions of Ballybrit.
Of course, if the horse doesn't win, sure they can run the race again, and again, until it does.
— One that cannot be discounted next week are the nags from the fancied Crowe stable. Imnobender ridden by jockey Mike Crowe is a horse that has to be considered, coming from behind to do well in previous outings when not fancied to do so. Young Crowe has experience of tearing down the home (straight ) having enjoyed limited success with rides on Treehater, Durty Crustie , Onwiththeairshow and his new acquisition Disillusioned which he bought after being dismounted by No-onelovesme in February.
The Cannon stable in Athenry will have five strong horses in the Plate — all out of the same mare, ‘cos it’s better that way and they can trust each other, while Imouttahere ridden by Michael D is looking forward to a canter in the park, if not at this meeting, then definitely at the autumn meeting.
— Ohjaysus is the mount of Galway football manager Tomas O Flatharta. It is a horse that could surprise after an awful season. O Flatharta’s idea of having four jockeys onboard is bound to reduce his chances of success, while the
John McIntyre-owned Feckthebegrudgers and Sameteamlads are horses that could yield dividends.
—Also bound to make an impression around the track are those hoary old Galway favourites Lightfingers, Three Card Trick, and Watch Yer Wallet, while Visiting Escort, How’s Your Father, Happy Ending and Anything Extra are jockeying for position and look like employing a variety of manoeuvres to give punters the ride of their lives.
— Of the UK horses, keep an eye out for Clickontheline, the mount of Rebekkah Brookes from the Murdoch stable, who had promised to send more runners to Galway, but have decided that Leaveittojames, Sevendaysun and Intregrity are all lame and are non-runners.
— However, a stable with a point to prove this year are the Roscommon horses Madatenda and Dead On Arrival from the Denis Naughton yard.
So there you have it, the info you need to go forth and multiply your earnings. Enjoy the races and watch that white flag, now ya hear.