Balnaslow can produce a big run in Plate

Willie Mullins’ Balnaslow is a hopeful choice in the Tote sponsored Galway Plate at Ballybrit this afternoon.

Balnaslow can produce a  big run in Plate

He will be partnered by Jonathan Burke, who only recently joined the professional ranks, and what a boost it would be to a fledgling career if he was to land a massive prize such as this.

The selection, arguably, is well handicapped, but that’s because he has always been a bit hit-and-miss and is certainly not the most reliable horse in training.

Nevertheless, he has a great chance, if stripping in the form that saw him run a cracker in the Thyestes at Gowran Park in January.

The seven-year-old finished a creditable fourth behind subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup second, On His Own, and might even have finished higher up the pecking order, but for getting it wrong at the final fence.

The three miles and a furlong that day seemed further than Balnaslow wanted to travel and the testing conditions were against him as well.

A drop in trip and a much faster surface now can only work in his favour and, hopefully, he can, at worst, give us a big run.

Otherwise, Dermot Weld is the man to have on your side. His useful flat horse, Tandem, hasn’t run for 284 days and makes his debut over jumps in the EUR100,000 Tote Pick6 Guarantee Maiden Hurdle.

This isn’t a bad race, but Tandem’s preparations have apparently been on going for some time and, so positive is the word, that he gets the nap.

Weld’s Whitey O’Gwaun is the choice in the Grab A Grand With Tote Maiden over a mile and a half.

He will be partnered by Adrian Maguire’s son, Finny, having a first ride for the Rosewell House handler.

The grey warmed up for this with a spin over an inadequate seven furlongs at the Curragh 11 days ago.

The newcomer, Brooch, is a third Weld possibility in the Tote Return All Profits To Irish Racing Maiden.

She will bring a good reputation to the track and is by the former Belmont Stakes winner, Empire Maker, who now stands in Japan.

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