Road To Riches remains a clear favourite to regain the Tote Galway Plate crown despite facing topweight this Wednesday.
The 2014 Plate winner tops an entry of 36 horses left in the Day Three Galway festival highlight after the latest forfeit stage saw Shanpallas, who had been disputing favouritism with Road To Riches in some ante-post lists, taken out of the race.
Trainer Charles Byrnes reported that Shanpallas had failed to impress him in his recent work and with the cross-channel based Cernunnos also taken out, Road To Riches was immediately rated a best-priced 5 to 1 to win again.
The Noel Meade-trained star will have to carry 11.10 in the race, a full 9lb more than the next horse in the ratings, Alelchi Inois, one of Willie Mullins’s hopes along with Ballycasey and Devil’s Bride.
Numerically Gordon Elliott dominates the Plate entries with a dozen contenders left in a race. They include the former dual-Grade One winner Clarcam who is a general 12 to 1 while Henry De Bromhead has five including last year's winner, Shanahan's Turn.
Ground conditions at Galway are “good” on both the flat and National Hunt tracks with watering continuing.
Galway’s Day Two feature is the €120,000
BMW Mile, a race
won a year ago with Hint Of A Tint. The Co Tipperary based trainer has four entries left to pick from this time, including a trio of JP McManus-owned horses.
After a slow beginning to the season, Wachman’s string are starting to fire and he sends three fillies to Saturday’s Gowran fixture including Posing for one of the mile and a half handicaps. A winner at Dundalk at the start of April, Posing’s subsequent start at Clonmel wasn’t good but she could prove a different proposition now the stable is returning to form.
Wachman also gives Close To My Heart her debut in a maiden that doesn't look the strongest but his first runner, Winter, could find the Ballydoyle runner Elizabeth Browning too strong in the juvenile maiden.
Radiantly hasn’t raced beyond a mile to date so her stamina is likely to be tested by Tonkinese in the three-runner conditions event.
The filly’s quality is undoubted though after a sixth in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, and a decent fourth in Royal Ascot’s Sandringham Handicap.