Wouldn’t you just know it, after a freakish and almost sub tropical summer in Ireland, heavy rain still arrived on cue for Ladies Day on the Thursday of the Galway Festival.
The near deluge didn’t dampen the spirits – everyone is used to it by now – but it did hit the attendance figures.
And turnover in the betting ring was noticeably down from last year, though that might have had as much to do with the results on Wednesday – two 33/1 winners including the featured Galway Plate – as the weather conditions.
Backers badly needed a tonic and luckily it arrived in the opener with Ruby Walsh at his brilliant best on 6/4 jolly – from 9/4 – Minella Beau.
Another former champ showed his expertise in the next. Rahsaan is a star in his own right and was at least racing right handed which is essential.
But he much prefers decent ground and his previous form at Galway was very disappointing.
Davy Russell though was clearly unconcerned as he some home sneaked him around the outside – where the ground was probably a shade better – and delivered the 6/1 shot right on the line to deny Ornua who had looked home and hosed on the run in.
Flat racing next and Honour Oak, second at the track earlier in the week, won by a street now at 11/2. Billy Lee kicked at a crucial moment and this was over a long way out.
Three Willie Mullins runners fought out the finish of the novice hurdle with David Mullins getting Calie Du Mesnil 8/1 home ahead of Sapphire Lady 14/1 and 6/4 market leader Exchange Rate.
Mullins said: “I actually thought our other runner (Causey Arch – a well beaten fifth) would win, so it shows how much I know.”
It was Mullins again in the big race the Guinness Galway Hurdle with son Patrick steering Sharjah – a nibbled at 12/1 shot – beating Blazer by three lengths. His much more fancied pair Whiskey Sour 9/2 favourite and Ruby’s mount Max Dynamite 8/1 didn’t feature.
That just summed up the week for most punters whose mood at the end of the day was as grey and pessimistic as the weather.
Declan’s Irish Racing Service this week tipped Burning Question 9/1 (won 9/2); Land Force 9/2 (w 5/2); St Stephens Green 7/2 (w 3/1); Twilight Payment 11/8 (w 5/4) and each way – Blazer 14/1 (second at 12/1). Why not join now and get the inside line on the Irish scene.