Dermot Weld willing to give up Galway Races crown
‘Leading Trainer’ award not top of the agenda for ‘King of Ballybrit’
Dermot Weld is not going all out to win “Leading Trainer” at Ballybrit. Photograph: Morgan Treacy.
The legendary trainer’s biggest haul for the week came in 2011 with a remarkable 17 winners but last year’s tally of five meant he only just won a 30th “Leading Trainer” award at the festival on a points system.
“If it happens again I’d be delighted but it’s not something I go all out for,” Weld said. “I will have less numbers during the week. I have less National Hunt horses and Galway has more National Hunt racing than it used to.
“There’s also been a sea-change in the sort of horse that I send to Galway. There are so much more opportunities now in the spring and summer that I tend not to put away horses for Galway like I used to. There are simply much more opportunities elsewhere than there used to be,” he added.
“She’s set to run at Goodwood and Pat Smullen will go to ride,” Weld confirmed.
Willie Mullins saddled eight Galway festival winners last year but just missed out on the leading trainer award on a points system that gives five points for a winner, three for a runner-up and one for a third.
Mullins has three runners on the opening day of the festival. Weld has five.