Recent Curragh winner Authorization aims to overcome his relative inexperience and plunder some of the good prize-money on offer in the Guinness Handicap at the Galway Festival on Friday.
Following a highly encouraging third on his sole appearance as a juvenile, James Motherway’s son of Derby hero Authorized made the perfect start to his three-year-old year when ploughing through the mud to win his maiden last month.
He faces eight runners on his handicap debut at Galway, including Aidan O’Brien’s three-time winner Chicago and Dermot Weld’s well-named Gowran Park scorer Olympiad.
Motherway, who landed the Irish Grand National with Bluesea Cracker in 2010, said: “I’m happy enough with him and he seems to have come out of his run at the Curragh in good form, so everything looks good.
“It’s Galway and you’re always concerned how they’ll handle the track before they run there for the first time, but he’s in good nick and he won’t mind the ground.
“The field has chopped up and that will probably help him as it’s his first start in a handicap and he’s still inexperienced and there should be as much jostling for position as there would be in a big field.
“He also gets a three-year-old allowance, so that was another factor in our decision to let him run.
“Dermot Weld and Aidan O’Brien have runners and they’re hard men to stop, but we’ll give it a go.
“I just hope our horse keeps progressing, so fingers crossed.”
The feature race over obstacles on Friday’s card is the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase.
Galway Plate defector Carlito Brigante heads the weights for Gordon Elliott, who has also declared Jamsie Hall, who was pulled after jumping just one fence in the Plate having lost considerable ground by whipping round at the start.
Tony Martin saddles his mare Victrix Gale, who ran up a hat-trick of wins before finishing fourth on her latest appearance at Kilbeggan.
Martin said: “She’s in good form and came out of her last race well.
“I don’t think there were any excuses for her last run, that’s probably just as good as she is and maybe the handicapper has caught up with her.
“We’ll give it a go tomorrow and I don’t think the ground will be an issue for her.”
Dessie Hughes is hoping recent Wexford winner Raz De Maree will give a good account of himself on just his third start over fences.
He said: “He’s in good form and the only question is whether he has enough experience, but he’s a horse who jumps well, so hopefully he’ll be all right.
“He goes on any ground and while he’d probably like a bit further, two miles six (furlongs) round Galway should be all right for him.”