Recent Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner trainer Joseph O’Brien, who was successful in the Guinness Galway Hurdle with Tigris River in 2017, has five horses among the 44 entered for this year’s €300,000 event at the Galway Races on Thursday, 2nd August.
Tigris River, fifth in the race in 2016 before winning last year, has been allotted 10st 9lbs, while O’Brien’s other entries are Le Richebourg (10st 5lbs), Ivanovich Gorbatov (10st 4lbs), the hat-trick seeking Monarch (10st 3lbs) and Plinth (10st).
Irish Champion National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins, who took the race with Mystical City in 1996 and Clondaw Warrior two years ago, has the top three in the weights among his 14 horses entered. Wicklow Brave is 12lbs clear at the head of the handicap on 11st 10lbs; with Meri Devie next best with 10st 12lbs and Sharjah on 10st 11lbs. Royal Ascot winner Lagostovegas has 10st 10lbs while Whiskey Sour, twice a winner at the 2017 Galway festival, is on 10st 8lbs with the 2015 runner-up, the well-travelled Max Dynamite, on 10st 3lbs.
Noel Meade’s Joey Sasa had Wicklow Brave and Sharjah back in second and third places respectively when impressing in the Grade 3 Kevin McManus Bookmaker Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary recently and Meade’s hopeful has been allotted 10st 10lbs. Gavin Cromwell has entered his dual Grade 1 winner Jer’s Girl (10st 9lbs) while David’s Charm, a winner for John Joe Walsh at the Galway Festival last year, is on the same weight. Trainer Mick Mulvany has entered his money-spinner On The Go Again, who gets a weight of 9st 13lbs.
Cause Of Causes, Flaxen Flare and Bayan have all finished in the runner-up spot in the Guinness Galway Hurdle for Gordon Elliott, who has five entries this time including The Game Changer, a place behind Bayan when third to Thomas Edison in 2014, on 10st 4lbs and Cartwright on 10st 1lb.
Sixth in the race last year, the John Quinn-trained Project Bluebook heads a British entry of four. Bedrock, third in the Grade 1 Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree last April, has been entered by Iain Jardine and Dr Richard Newland has Hassle and Leoncavallo entered in the Ladies’ Day feature race.