Galway target for Hero

NIGEL Twiston-Davies is keeping his fingers crossed Grand Slam Hero makes the cut for the Galway Plate following his gallant victory at Market Rasen on Saturday.

The nine-year-old completed a hat-trick of wins in the valuable Summer Plate at the Lincolnshire venue and holds an entry in the big race of the week at the Ballybrit track on July 28.

“He’s great this morning and is in good form. Graham (Lee) gave him a great ride and it was a good win,” said Twiston-Davies.

“There’s a chance there might be too many runners for him to get in the Galway Plate but we’ll be trying our best. He gets a penalty which will help.

“It’s a great race to go for. I haven’t had a runner in it yet. Wisley Wonder was going to run in it one year but in the end he didn’t.

Grand Slam Hero is a top-priced 16-1 for the Galway Plate.

Paul Nicholls meanwhile is looking forward to preparing Noland for a return to the track following a lengthy lay-off through injury.

The nine-year-old is back with the Ditcheat trainer after spending his recuperation with owner John Hales.

Races like the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon and the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham are among the possible long-term targets for Noland, who was last seen winning the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase in December 2008.

“He missed all of last season having done well for us the year before, winning a Grade One at Punchestown and he also won at Down Royal,” Nicholls told At The Races. “He’s just come back in having completed a long time on the walker for the last month. We are looking forward to getting him going again.

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