Pride tops contenders in Galway Hurdle

Bobs Pride heads the weights in a maximum 20-strong field for the Guinness Galway Hurdle on Thursday.

Bobs Pride heads the weights in a maximum 20-strong field for the Guinness Galway Hurdle on Thursday.

The six-year-old is trained by Dermot Weld, who is also responsible for the likely favourite, Majestic Concorde.

Weld’s charge advertised his chances with a smooth victory in a two-mile Flat handicap on the opening day of the Galway Festival on Monday.

The in-form handler will be looking to win the race for a fourth time after Ansar (2001), Strathline (1985) and Spanner (1975).

Tony Martin has a tremendous record in big handicaps, but the Galway Hurdle has so far eluded him.

This year he saddles a leading player in Northern Alliance, while his Leg Spinner is the second reserve.

Noel Meade, successful with More Rainbows (2005) and Pinch Hitter (1982, 1983), relies on Definate Spectacle this time.

Other fancied runners include Gordon Elliott’s Roman Villa, Ron O’Leary’s Schelm and the Charlie Swan-trained duo of Cloone Rocket and Valain.

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