Early Doors can give trainer Joseph O’Brien a first win in the Tote Galway Plate, the feature on day three of the behind-closed-doors Galway Races.
Winner of a Grade 3 and the Martin Pipe Handicap at the Cheltenham Festival over hurdles, he has had just four runs to date over fences and finished runner-up on three of those occasions, including in a beginners’ chase over course and distance in 2019.
With that, he has a handicap mark of 139, which he is certainly more than capable of dealing with. It puts him in with a handy weight of just 10-5 to carry and, proven to come up the hill, the classy sort can take this at the expense of Spyglass Hill and Galvin.
The form of Spyglass Hill’s beginners’ chase success at Gowran received a healthy boost when runner-up Milan Native went on to win the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival. Henry De Bromhead’s horse seems an improved performer since going over fences and, off his mark of 146, can have a say in the finish. On drying ground, Easy Game is also of interest.
The Very Man can get punters off to the best start by taking the Play The Tote Jackpot Novice Hurdle for Gordon Elliott and Davy Russell.
While he has to give away weight to all his rivals, he is a horse in the habit of winning and, better for his most recent run, in which he did particularly well to win given the trip was on the sharp side, he will be difficult to beat. He is likely to be ridden positively as he stays further, but the track will help make this a sufficient stamina test.
Getaway Gorgeous, who made the breakthrough on her final start of last season, rates a danger on her return.
Upgraded can take the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Handicap Hurdle for Tony Martin. A winner on the level at this meeting in 2019, she made his seasonal debut in a handicap hurdle at Bellewstown and absolutely bolted in off a mark of 95. She is 12lbs higher today but that does not look enough to prevent a follow up and, with proven course form, she ought to be extremely hard to beat.
Millyinthemiddle is a most interesting rival, despite having to race from 4lbs out of the handicap. Trained by Emmet Mullins, she caught the eye finishing well to take fifth place behind Dawson’s Cottage on her most recent start. That was her handicap debut, she should be better for the run and the experience, and she is worth serious consideration.
Tara Dylan is the other worth consideration, particularly as she has winning form her and the form of her recent second place finish in the Ladies’ Derby was given a fine boost by winner Princess Zoe, who followed up in Monday’s feature, the Connacht Hotel QR Race.
- 4:45 The Very Man (nap)
- 5:15 Upgraded
- 5:45 Kaatskill Nap
- 6:15 Abraham
- 6:45 Early Doors (nb)
- 7:15 Smithscorner
- 7:45 Shewearsitwell
- 8:15 Zuma Rock
- 4:45 Telmesomethinggirl
- 5:15 Millyinthemiddle
- 5:45 The Little Yank
- 6:15 Bon Retour
- 6:45 Spyglass Hill
- 7:15 Paris Texas
- 7:45 Tracey Bubbles
- 8:15 Mighty Meggie