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Galway preview

Fri 2nd Aug 2019, 08:58

Il Paradiso has prospects in this evening's feature, the Guinness Handicap
© Photo Healy Racing

The Galway Festival moves to its fifth stage with a very competitive card, not surprising given the excellent prize-money on offer.

Traditional Friday night highlight, the Guinness Handicap, goes up to 120,000 euros from 100,000 euros last year, while two other events have also seen significant boosts to their purses.

The opener is now called the Guinness Galway Tribes Handicap Hurdle and boasts an 80,000 euro pot, with the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase offering the same.

These are seen as consolation events for those that did not make it into the Plate on Wednesday and the Galway Hurdle on Thursday, and afford connections with a really nice opportunity.

Gavin Cromwell is represented in the three main races, Tritonix being his runner in the mile-and-a-half Guinness Handicap, with Rory Cleary up.

It is not an easy ask for the Nathaniel filly on her first start in handicap company, and some will justifiably look towards Aidan O’Brien’s Il Paradiso

This fellow sluiced home at the Curragh last time. He is racing off a 15lb higher mark now and is back in trip, but Il Paradiso could be progressive enough to overcome these inconveniences.

Cromwell has Lever Du Soleil in the Guinness Galway Tribes Handicap Hurdle. In a somewhat similar vein to Il Paradiso this fellow can be filed in the improving column.

The French-bred is actually going for a fifth win in a row after Flat successes in the UK. He would be very dangerous to underestimate with Conor McNamara in the plate to claim a valuable 7lb.

A long-standing highlight of this programme has been the Galway Blazers.

Cromwell has two in contention for this 18-runner affair. The bargain-buy Mac N Cheese won over timber at Bellewstown last time, but this is more difficult.

However, the likeable sort will no doubt compete well, as will stable companion Top Of The Charts He endeavours to bring up a hat-trick after wins at Wexford and Perth already this summer.

Gordon Elliott has four in this extended two-and-three-quarter-miler, namely Mill Quest (Keith Donoghue), Swingbridge (Mark Enright), Ned Stark (Davy Russell) and Cecil Corbett (Denis O’Regan).

JP McManus has a quartet too — Tesseract Treasure Chest Riviera Sun and Hash Brown