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Well handicapped Jacksonslady looks the ideal candidate in Galway Plate

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The Tony Martin trained Quick Jack, winner of the Connacht Hotel Handicap last year, is one of the leading fancies for next week's Guinness Galway Hurdle.

By George McDonagh

THE €20,000 increase in value of the Tote.com Galway Plate next Wednesday has led to a high quality entry which includes Alderwood, Savello, Ted Veale and Spring Heeled, all previous Cheltenham festival winners.

The Willie Mullins trained Boston Bob (11-10) is the top weight for the €220,000 feature, but that is still seven pounds below the rating achieved following his defeat of First Lieutenant in the Punchestown Gold Cup of 2014.

Rebel Fitz is the fly in the ointment among the top weights. In five runs at Ballybrit, Michael Winters’ stable star has won four times and finished runner up in the other. Now a ten-year-old, Rebel Fitz took the 2013 renewal of the Galway Hurdle from Cause Of Causes, but has had some niggling injury troubles in the past 15 months and hasn’t seen racecourse action since last October.

Tony Martin’s pair of Savello, which returned to winning ways last time, and 2014 festival winner Ted Veale will find the two and three quarter mile trip taxing their stamina, while of the cross channel raiders Jonjo O’Neill’s Its A Gimmie ran a fine race when runner up to another cross channel entrant Brave Spartacus in last Saturday’s Summer Plate at Market Rasen. If the latter turns up, a fast tempo is assured from flag fall.

The David Pipe trained Dell Arca though is worth a closer look although he has only ran three times over fences, winning a class three event at Uttoxeter last time in late May. However, it is his length and a half defeat by Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Coneygree at Newbury last November that is the stand out form, even if a 22 runner cavalry charge that the Plate is will be a far cry from a five runner field irrespective of who wins it.

Alelchi Inois has been towards the head of the ante post market since the entries were revealed and this economic jumper is a dual course winner over the two and a quarter mile trip. He returned to action for the first time since last November with a defeat of Bayan when well supported for a conditions hurdle at Cork three weeks ago.

Pulled up twice in graded company late last year, underfoot conditions would not have suited Alechi Inois then and he will be a live player along with his stable companion Ballinaslow, which caught the eye behind Ravished in the recent Midlands National at Kilbeggan.

Third off a similar mark behind Road To Riches in last year’s renewal, all his racecourse wins have come on right handed tracks. Back down to the same mark as in 2014, Ballinaslow would have been closer to the winner but for getting into the bottom of the final fence and losing momentum in the process. He can go close.

The one to concentrate though is the Phillip Dempsey trained Jacksonslady whose mark of 141 leaves her just four pounds higher then when a battling nine length third in the 2013 Plate behind ‘handicap snip’ Carlingford Lough.

A closer examination of the JP McManus owned mare’s form though tells us that she runs well fresh, therefore an absence since beating Upazo by five lengths at level weights over two miles at the Punchestown festival is not of great concern. A winner over the course and distance in the Latin Quarter Chase at last year’s meeting, she was ridden then by Barry Geraghty, who is now the retained rider for the McManus operation.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Ruthless Utd knock seven bells out of hapless hosts

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Galway United’s leading marksman Stephen Walsh who scored twice in their seven-nil rout of Bluebell United in the FAI Cup on Sunday.

Bluebell United 0

Galway United 7

Keith Kelly at Tolka Park

GALWAY United not only avoided a potential FAI Cup shock, they did so in record-breaking fashion on Sunday when breezing past the challenge of Leinster Senior League side, Bluebell United, in glorious sunshine in Tolka Park.

The victory was United’s biggest-ever in an FAI Cup tie – they did stick eight without reply past Salthill Devon in the group stages of the League Cup in the 1994/95 season – and was also the biggest win by a First Division side in an FAI Cup tie since the second tier of the league was introduced in 1985/96.

No-one will get carried away with a win over a non-league outfit, but considering previous United iterations had struggled against a similar level of opposition – they needed penalties to see off the mighty Killester United in 2017, and fumbled to a 2-1 win over Collinstown two years later – this ruthless annihilation of their hosts shows a very different mindset in the 2022 United model.

A Stephen Walsh double in the space of 90 seconds in the late stages of the first-half meant the tie was over by half-time, though in truth, it was a 190-second spell much earlier in the game which dictated just how the afternoon would finish.

United made three changes to the side which had beaten Athlone Town 3-1 in the league the previous week, including handing a debut to new signing, Bastien Hery, after his midweek loan move from Finn Harps that saw Gary Boylan go in the opposite direction.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Thumbs up from Moloney as Galway is back in the groove

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Julianne Devine presents the winning trophy to Basil Holian, Athenry, after Soaring Monarch had won the Rockshore Handicap at Ballybrit. Also included are, Pamela and Bernie Holian, with Ber and Peter Fahey, trainer.

IT would have been easy to have got carried away on the wave of expectancy. With advance ticket sales strong and corporate hospitality booked out for the opening six days, it fuelled loose talk about huge numbers descending on the Galway Summer Racing Festival.

We even heard a couple of suggestions that Ballybrit wouldn’t be able to hold the crowds such was the anticipated pent-up desire to attend the popular festival after the Covid-hit meetings of 2020 – held behind closed doors – and last year when daily attendances were restricted to 1,000.

But Chief Executive of Galway Racecourse, Michael Moloney, had been guarded in his pre-festival expectations about the numbers which would end up heading west for one of Irish sport’s most iconic occasions.

Between the current cost of living pressures, the festival coming in the wake of a hectic period for Galway GAA teams, and high accommodation and fuel prices, Moloney knew the meeting would struggle to reach the total attendance of nearly 130,000 of the previous pre-pandemic fixture of 2019.

It was no reflection on what Galway had to offer, more a case of many people forced to be more selective about the number days they would attend Ballybrit due to their own financial considerations and priorities.

Galway Racecourse had run an energetic and innovative social medial campaign promoting the festival, while these who made it to Ballybrit last week had to be impressed by the increased covered areas and extra catering facilities around the enclosure.

Ultimately, over the seven days of the festival, there was an attendance drop of almost 10% from the last comparable meeting of three years ago. The total crowd was 116,720 which represented a decline of 12,338 spectators spread over the seven days.

That figure would have been lower only for the Friday evening and Saturday cards being hit by adverse weather, but the festival finished on a high with the Sunday crowd of 13,040 a significant jump on the 2019 figure of 9,998.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Thousands to take part in 8k Streets of Galway race

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The 36th edition of the Blackrock Health Galway Clinic sponsored Streets of Galway 8km, organised by Galway City Harriers, takes place tomorrow (Saturday), with the race set to start at 7pm.

With the race returning to its traditional Saturday evening slot, huge crowds are expected to turn out to support the huge field who will race, with close on 3,000 athletes expected to race the famous route through the city streets.

The 8km returns to its 2019 route around the city, with race start at GTI on Fr Griffin Road, with the finish in South Park. The race routes over Wolfe Tone Bridge, Merchants Road, Eyre Square, Eglinton Street, over the Salmon Weir Bridge, and loops around the Cathedral and onto University Road, before turning left at the Hospital for a run along St Marys Road, Lower Salthill and into Devon Park, Devon Gardens and onto Dr Mannix Road.

A water stop at 5km is at Pearse Stadium, with the turn for home at Leisureland, seeing a fast stretch along Seapoint, Dr Colohan Road and the final kilometre on Grattan Road with the finish in the gates of South Park.

Race number collection will be at the Claddagh Hall, beside South Park from 3pm today (Friday) with limited registration on the day in person; and tomorrow from 10am to 5pm.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

 

 

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