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O’Regan hoping to have the Ansar in Galway Plate

DENIS O’Regan hailed Ansar as a "very, very special" horse as the 12-year-old prepares for yet another Galway Festival.

O’Regan was still claiming 3lb in the saddle when he was propelled into the big time after partnering Dermot Weld’s course specialist to Plate glory in 2005.

O’Regan is now stable jockey to Howard Johnson in England but he will be back on the veteran when he bids for his eighth track win in the William Hill-sponsored Plate on July 30.

"It’s great to get back on him, he’ll be a good ride," said O’Regan.

"I haven’t ridden him for a while, but I saw him run on the Flat at both Navan and the Curragh and he still seems to have his sparkle.

"He’s a very, very special horse and he has been brilliant for my career, it really kicked me off winning the Galway Plate on that horse.

"He’s dropped a bit in the weights now and fingers crossed, the key to him is the quick ground, if he gets that he has a right chance."

Ansar is a 12-1 chance with the sponsors for the big race.

O’Regan and Weld also team up with Majestic Concorde in the Guinness Galway Hurdle, currently second-favourite with most bookmakers.

"He’s in the first couple in the betting and he won nicely the other night at Killarney," O’Regan told At The Races.

"He’s got some fair runs behind him now over hurdles already, he’s on a nice weight, he’s got 10st 7lb, which is a nice racing weight.

"We’ll just have to see what is going to happen, it’s a long way away from Galway yet and a lot of things can happen between now and then, hopefully he’ll get there in one piece."

William Hill Galway Plate (sponsors Bet): 7-1 Oslot, 8-1 Green Mile, 10-1 Emma Jane, Oumeyade, 12-1 Ansar, Breaking Silence, Hoo La Baloo, 14-1 Ballyagran, Dom Fontenail, Dosco, Emotional Article, Irish Invader, Santa’s Son, 16-1 bar