This year’s Galway Plate won’t be any different for a jockey than any other Galway Plate.
You’ll still be down at the start with 21 rivals behind you, around you and beside you at the bottom of the straight making your way in an orderly manner of organised chaos to the start from where you’ll set off at a hundred miles an hour.
It will be tight, rough, and scary at times, but you’ll have no idea what’s going to happen at the first, let alone at the winning post.
You don’t need a crowd or an atmosphere to make a Galway Plate exciting for a jockey, it’ll just be exciting, but what’s going to happen God only knows.
When you look at it, I think Peregrine Run, for a ten-year-old, has too much weight and, even though Jett is younger, I’d say he is well exposed with 11-12. I think Early Doors is the one that catches your eye, with a rating of 139, but the one question mark you’d have is ‘is he brave enough to jump?’ The Galway Plate suits the brave not the cautious.
Joseph also runs Us And Them, but stamina seems to be an issue for him. And Joseph’s third runner is Mortal, who seems to be immortal rather than mortal.
Outside of them, Henry has two. Sub Lieutenant hasn’t won a race since October 2018, and Spyglass Hill is 5lbs worse off with the ante-post favourite Galvin for finishing 15 lengths behind him in a Fairyhouse beginners’ chase. I’m not sure how that works, and I find it difficult to see how he can turn that around.
Snugsborough Benny was third last year, but his style of racing, from way off the pace, makes winning a Galway Plate very difficult, so a place would be great for him again. Cap York and The West’s Awake need career-best efforts, and neither of their last runs would be good enough.
Winter Escape most definitely has the talent, though it’s quite a while since we saw it. Gordon has five and Willie has six, so that’s half the field between them, but you’d have to think Robin Des Foret, Three Musketeers, The Storyteller, Livelovelaugh, Dinons, Blazer, The Big Lense and Cabaret Queen would be somewhat surprise winners, even to their trainers.
That said, there is form in there that suggests they could run well: Cabaret Queen in the Munster National; The Big Lense if he gets around; Blazer’s Galway Hurdle run behind Sharjah; Dinons’ odd run as a novice, though it’s only an odd one; Livelovelaugh’s second in the Leopardstown Chase or at Punchestown; Three Musketeers’ run in the Midlands National, but I just can’t see Robin Des Foret climbing the hill, though some day he might.
If we rule all those out to some degree, that just leaves us with three: Galvin, who I thought looked like a horse who wanted to come back in trip rather than go up in trip when second at Cheltenham; Easy Game, who, with 11-6 on his back, is, for my money, paying the price for finishing second to Faugheen; and that just leaves us with Royal Rendezvous, which, by process of elimination, is my choice.
He won a maiden hurdle here, likes going right-handed, and could be unexposed. It’s simple really.
Elsewhere on the card, I thought Telmesomethinggirl would win the first.
I was impressed with her in Roscommon and I think she has bounced back from her very first run over hurdles, which was a gruelling race which took herself and Concertista a long time to get over. I think she could be back to her best.
I don’t have a strong opinion in the second, but Rescue Package, if you forced me to make a selection, would be the one.
I thought Kaatskill Nap would get through the maiden hurdle. I think he’s schooling better than he was, and he has improved a good bit for his run on the Flat.
In the 6:15, I though Pilbara would complete the hat-trick because I’d say he’s still well handicapped.
The 7:15 is a handicap chase and if you have somehow managed to back the winner of the Galway Plate you might have an interest in it, other than that please stay still and wait for Willie and Patrick to win the last two to make Plate Day a great day, even though it probably won’t be for many.