Felix Desjy can lead his rivals a merry dance in the Guinness Galway Hurdle, the feature on day four in Ballybrit.
The seven-year-old was off the track for more than 14 months until making his Flat debut earlier this month at Navan and he turned that race into a procession with a runaway success. He amassed a huge lead in the early stages and raced unchallenged to an eight-length success over Advantage Point.
This is his first run over hurdles since finishing runner-up to Klassical Dream in a Grade 1 at the 2019 Punchestown festival. Prior to that, at Aintree, he had made all the running to beat one of today’s rivals, Aramon, and is 4lbs better off with the runner-up today.
A mark of 151 and 11-6 to carry looks well within his capabilities and he can give Gordon Elliott his first win in the race, and jockey Davy Russell his third.
Shanning rates a danger. She was sent off 9-2 joint-favourite for this race in 2019 but had to settle for fifth place. There was no hard luck story, but today’s conditions should prove more to her liking and off the same mark she should put up a bold bid.
It is a big ask for a four-year-old to win this race – the last was Perugino Diamond in 2000 - but Fred Winter winner Aramax must be respected with just 10-5 to carry.
The opener is a really interesting race. Saint D’oroux sets the standard on what he has achieved thus far but, at the weights, is a little behind Anna Bunina. The latter was seriously impressive in an ordinary race last time and has to be respected, but the conditions of the race are such that Red Gerry and Shamiyan are live players.
Red Gerry did not jump very well on his only outing over timber and, in the circumstances and the extremely testing conditions, did quite well to finish second to Cerberus. He has had plenty of time to get practice in the jumping department and, if showing that improvement, this useful flat horse ought to be hard to beat in today’s conditions. Shamiyan ran well on his hurdling debut, in a better race, and can only improve for it. The conditions are of no concern and he can go well.
- 4:45 Red Gerry (nb)
- 5:15 Doctor Duffy
- 5:45 Russian Diamond
- 6:15 Bua Boy
- 6:45 Felix Desjy (nap)
- 7:15 Jon Snow
- 7:45 Cherif De L’isle
- 8:15 Power Of Pause
- 4:45 Shamiyan
- 5:15 Karl Der Grosse
- 5:45 Scheu Time
- 6:15 Acclamatio
- 6:45 Shanning
- 7:15 Belfast Banter
- 7:45 Tune The Chello
- 8:15 Slige Dala