Mikey Sheehy can triump again on No Say Ever in Galway Festival Handicap

The 18-year-old apprentice will also be reunited with Sirjack Thomas in Sunday’s Ahonoora Handicap

Jockey Mikey Sheehy enjoyed a career highlight when the 50-1 Sirjack Thomas won the Galway Mile on Tuesday and could enjoy more big race success at Ballybrit this weekend.

The summer festival draws to a close with two flat programmes and the jockey with the famous GAA name will be reunited with Sirjack Thomas in Sunday’s Ahonoora Handicap.

Before that however, the 18-year-old apprentice has another €100,000 pot in his sights having been snapped up for No Say Ever in Saturday’s Galway Shopping Centre Handicap.

The festival has been a shadow of its normal self with only 1,000 spectators but the lack of atmosphere could be a positive for a horse described by trainer Amanda Mooney as "slightly cracked".


Placed at last year’s festival, No Say Ever won a ladies race at Leopardstown in May prior to being edged out by Morph Speed in an apprentice contest at the same track. There was only a head between the pair on that occasion and No Say Ever gets a substantial weight pull from is old rival here.

Morph Speed went on to win the Cork Derby and is back at a mile and a half having run at a mile last time.

The Ulster Derby winner Iowa appears for Ballydoyle but with a good draw and Sheehy’s 5lb allowance around a subdued Ballybrit No Say Ever could emerge on top.

High Altitude was third when a well backed favourite on Monday and is doubly entered over the weekend. He goes in an extended mile handicap on Saturday and looks a leading contender.


Sirjack Thomas proved a revelation in Tuesday’s big race and won with enough authority to justify a 7lb penalty. He drops in distance on Sunday for a race in which he is joined by three stable companions from Ado McGuinness’ yard.

The Ahonoora proved a benefit for cross-channel raiders five years running between 2014 and 2018 and there are two visitors this time.

They include Archie Watson's Stone Soldier who won at Haydock this month and has secured a better draw than his fellow traveller, On A Session.

Elsewhere, Aidan O’Brien can’t have reckoned on running into a bona fide Group 1 talent like Wonderful Tonight when making an entry for Divinely in Saturday’s Lillie Langtry Stakes at Goodwood.

However ground conditions might not be as soft as ideal for Wonderful Tonight and it looks significant that Ryan Moore is getting down to his lowest weight at 8.8 for the sole three year old in the Group 2 contest.

Divinely can boast her own top-flight form since she was runner up to Snowfall in the Irish Oaks last time and was also placed behind her spectacular stable companion at Epsom.

Divinely is joined by Joseph O’Brien’s Traisha although she looks to have a lot on her plate having finished last on her last start at Gowran in June.

O’Brien Jnr is also represented 20 minutes earlier in Newmarket’s Listed Chalice Stakes by Dhabyah who won her first start for the trainer at Bewllestown this month.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column