All of the declarations have been finalised for tomorrow’s ‘Galway County Council Local Summer Festival’ which will see 74 runners and riders go to post for what promises to be a day of high excitement for owners and trainers alike.
This year’s local election stakes are generously sponsored by the Kilkenny based Phil Hogan Environmental Group with more than €1.1 million in prize money on offer to the winners and nothing but heartache and disappointment for the losers.
Stables up and across the county have completed their preparations in readiness for five unique contests, the results of which will not be clearly determined until possibly Sunday afternoon, keeping punters in a state of suspense until then.
Insider has had a very busy few months since his trip to the Cotswolds in March and is pleased to inform readers that his bank balance is in a healthy state again thanks to a number of winners delivered by ace jockeys Barry Geraghty and Ruby Walsh at the Cheltenham festival.
Walsh on Vatour got the festival off to a flying start for Insider, romping home to an incredibly commanding six length success at odds of 7/2 on the Tuesday. The Jessica Harrington trained Jezki, with Geraghty on board, obliged at 9/1; while Ouevega partnered by Walsh at 8/11, made it a highly profitable opening day for Insider.
On day two Insider stuck with Walsh in the opener and was rewarded when the Willie Mullins trained Faugheen triumphed at 2/1. Geraghty again did the business on the Thursday when 15/2 chance More of That lowered the colours of the heavily backed favourite Annie Power.
A sizeable punt on Dublin’s St Vincent’s and Portumna in the AIB Club finals on St Patrick’s Day saw an evens double come up trumps for Insider to leave him in fine fettle to have another go at the bookies in this week’s Local Election stakes.
runners and riders
Insider has already reported on his fancies in the Loughrea Stayers Handicap and the Tuam Hurdle in the February 27 edition of the Galway Advertiser [see our digital edition archive, via www.advertiser.ie/galway when he predicted the ‘Big Two’ stables would take the lion’s share of the prize money.
Tomorrow’s Ballinasloe Handicap Chase has attracted nine runners and riders with Moylough Farmer ridden by Mick Connolly for the Mickey Martin yard expected to go off as an unbackable odds-on favourite.
Medical Card Review with Kilconnell’s Timmy Broderick on board will push Connolly’s mount all the way while Tiocfaidh Ar Lá piloted by the other Connolly, Dermot, from the 32 County Stud, will be there or thereabouts.
Retired Teacher partnered by Pat O’Sullivan should make it a double for the Martin Yard. Insider expects the mother of all battles in this race to be fought out between owners from the Inda Stables with the Connaughton owned Co-Opted, the mount of Kevin Ryan expected to be too good for Portiuncula’s Best, ridden by the wily Michael Finnerty, and Sarsfield’s Own and relative newcomer, Aiden Dohohue. Hackney Cab from the Gilmore Yard has the experienced Johnny Walsh in the saddle, but he will struggle, as will First Try and Donal Burke from the Mickey Martin Yard.
The Athenry/Oranmore Novices Hurdle should prove to be a very competitive affair with Insiders lap of the day going to Lydican, ridden by Jim Cuddy who is going all out to make it a three-timer in this race.
Crusheen Bridge from the Micky Martin Yard with Malachy Noone on board had an excellent outing in this race last time and his hard work in the intervening period will pay dividends again.
Ballydavid King, the mount of Peter Feeney, has shown good form and will attract big support from the Athenry area. Oranmore based Liam Carroll, who partners with Real Mayor, has had an amazing year. This duo have been in big demand countywide over the past 12 months and will benefit from all the hard training and mileage covered.
Funeral Director has Frank Kearney in the saddle and is bound to benefit from the experience of Jarlath McDonagh who gave sterling service to the Lackagh/Turloughmore area over the last 30 years.
Claregalway Lady is one to watch, was impressive last time out and with Josette Farrell again on board should run a good race. Athenry Auctioneer ridden by former hurler Cathal Moran has a huge following and will be carrying a sizeable wedge of Insider’s Cheltenham’s winnings to pull off a first timer in this contest.
Clement Shevlin rides Compantás Lír in this race for the Gilmore Yard while stable companion Lovely Lorraine is piloted by Madge Dean. The Ballot Box Or… from the 32 County Stud will be ridden by Gabe Cronnelly but needs another outing.
Turloughmore’s David Collins is on Third Time Lucky and Barrister at Law has James Charity on board. Give Rod the Nod, ridden by Rod O’Driscoll; Fis Nua partnered by Suzanne O’Keefe; Clarinbridge Oyster with Martina Kinnane; and Killoughter Boy with Michael Ryan in the saddle, are rank outsiders in tomorrow’s race.
And in Connemara...
The late withdrawal by Aille na Brún, the mount of the Independent Socialist jockey Seosamh Ó Cuaig, from the Connemara Gold Cup, has sent political pundits into a spin and opens up this race especially for the minor placings.
Oughterard’s Own will romp home again in this contest with Tom Welby on board. Aille Thiar, the mount of Sean Ó Tuairisg, and Glann, partnered by the experienced Seamus Walsh - both from the Mickey Martin Yard - are sure to be in the money.
The Republican Sinn Féin Stable is represented by Bearna Mór who will be ridden in tomorrow’s contest by the genial Tomás Ó Curraoin, who will be in the frame, as will Sky Road ridden by Clifden’s Eileen Mannion along with Baile an tSagairt piloted by Seosamh Ó Laoi - both from the Inda Stables.
Another good prospect from the Inda Stables in this contest is Moycullen Lass ridden by young Niamh Byrne whose dad Nicholas has huge horsy experience. Insider will be having a good punt on this one.
Can Ballyconneely’s veteran pilot Josie Conneely bounce back for the Mickey Martin Yard or will he be trumped by Martin Lee on Rossaveal Harbour?
Trevor Ó Clochartaig’s protégées from the 32 County Stud - Mairín Mhic Lochlainn and Clifden’s Tom Healy - although relative novices must stand a chance. No Septic Tank Charges, the mount of Padraic a Tailíua O’Conghaile has received a lot of exposure. Noel Thomas, another jockey from the Gilmore Yard is a rank outsider in this race. The rest are out of their depth.
Overall Insider is looking forward to an exciting Galway County Council Local Summer Festival 2014 and predicts the following outcome: Inda Stables 17, Micky Martin Yard 12, 32 County Studfarm 2, Independent Stables 7, RSF Yard 1.