Galway tips: Unexposed Sapphire Lady has solid claims in Blazers

Lightly-raced over fences, Sapphire Lady has solid claims in today’s Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase.
Galway tips: Unexposed Sapphire Lady has solid claims in Blazers

Sapphire Lady and Danny Mullins win the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Steeplechase at Punchestown in May. Picture; Healy Racing.

Lightly-raced over fences, Sapphire Lady has solid claims in today’s Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase.

Willie Mullins, of course, annexed a second Plate with Royal Rendezvous on Wednesday and, despite her inexperience, Sapphire Lady should make a bold bid to give him this ‘consolation’ event too.

This nine-year-old has only run three times over the bigger obstacles, a disappointing run in a Grade 3 in Cork, won by Mount Ida, sandwiched between wins at Thurles and Punchestown.

On her chase debut, she proved nine lengths superior to Gin On Lime, a prolific winner in recent months, at Thurles and when last seen, she produced another solid round of jumping to beat Make My Heart Fly.

A prominent racer, Sapphire Lady might be suited by the tactics Paul Townend employed so superbly on Royal Rendezvous in the Plate and, off a mark of 131 on her handicap chase debut, Sapphire Lady should reward each-way support in this helter-skelter, 20 runner affair. Everlastingpromise, runner-up to Capuccimix, over a shorter trip in Killarney may be the danger.

Willie Mullins is mounting a four-pronged bid for the featured Guinness Handicap Hurdle, a race he has won five times in the last decade, most recently with Great White Shark last year.

Potentially well-treated off a mark of 142, but far more effective as a stayer on the Flat, Stratum will be ridden by stable-jockey Paul Townend.

But each-way support for Bryan Cooper’s mount My Sister Sarah looks more attractive, following her sixth to Coltor in Monday’s big amateur handicap and her second, behind stable-companion Great White Shark, in this event 12 months ago.

Harry Fry’s Litterale Ci (third) and Lynwood Gold (an unlucky fifth) are also reappearing after their exploits in the amateur on Monday and merit plenty of respect.

Away from the four tricky handicaps on the card, Birchdale, once rated 146 over hurdles when with Nicky Henderson, is well worth noting on his debut for Enda Bolger in the Guinness Beginners Chase, with Russian Diamond and four-year-old Busselton the likely dangers.

The Willie Mullins-trained hurdling debutante Purple Mountain, winner of two bumpers, including a listed event at Gowran Park last October, sets the standard in the opening James’s Gate Maiden Hurdle.

JOHN RYAN

4.00 PURPLE MOUNTAIN (NB)

4.30 NIBIRU

5.00 ADVANCED VIRGO

5.30 MY SISTER SARAH

6.05 BIRCHDALE

6.40 DARASSO

7.10 SAPPHIRE LADY (NAP)

7.45 ASHROE DIAMOND

NEXT BEST

4.00 CHOIR PRACTICE

4.30 UNION PARK

5.00 RUAILLE BUAILLE

5.30 STRATUM 6.05 BUSSELTON

6.40 PHOENIX WAY

7.10 EVERLASTINGPROMISE

7.40 GRIS MAJEUR

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