Stay De Night can rise early at the Galway Races

The Dermot Weld-trained horse can successfully continue a long racing tradition

Trainer Dermot Weld and True Solitaire during day one of the Galway Festival at Galway Racecourse. Photograph: Pat Healy/PA Wire

Trainer Dermot Weld and True Solitaire during day one of the Galway Festival at Galway Racecourse. Photograph: Pat Healy/PA Wire

 

Stay De Night may be the most inexperienced runner in Galway’s €120,000 Topaz Mile but he can successfully continue a long racing tradition for the world famous Moyglare Stud farm.

The Maynooth-based farm set up by the Swiss billionaire Walter Haefner over half a century ago has bred outstanding champions over the years, including their current superstar Free Eagle, who carried the famous black and white colours to Royal Ascot success last month in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.

Stay De Night has no such Group One profile but he was bred before Haefner died – aged 101 – in 2012 and carries different but significant colours into this evening’s festival feature.

The Dermot Weld-trained horse carries the blue and white colours of Walter Haefner’s granddaughter, Mischa Bucher, colours Haefner first registered for his steeplechasers in France in the 1950s and which were inspired by the Grasshoppers football club in Zurich.

Far-fetched

Weld’s renowned Galway mastery extends to this race too with seven wins over the years including the Moyglare-owned Free To Speak in 1998. He last won it with Stunning View in 2011 and it’s not hard to imagine this race has been on his mind for Stay De Night for some time.

The former Moyglare trainer Kevin Prendergast first won this race way back in 1972 and he could bring off a unique achievement if his 2012 and 2014 winner Vastonea secures an unprecedented hat-trick this evening.

The popular grey should step up on what he’s done so far in 2015 and one of two cross-channel raiders, Baraweez, third last year, should also be a prime contender.

Ger Lyons has a remarkable five runners, including last year’s winner Brendan Brackan, and Unsinkable could emerge as the best of them, but the biggest threat of all to the unexposed Stay De Night may be Paul Deegan’s Aussie Valentine, a runner up in last March’s Lincolnshire.

However, the horse carrying Grasshopper colours holds future Group entries which suggest his rivals face a big task keeping tabs on him at these weights.

Valac in the following maiden carries the more familiar Moyglare colours and there looks to be plenty in favour of Free Eagle’s half-brother, who sports a first-time visor and a rails draw.

He has three starts under his belt that revealed promise, including at Gowran in June when beaten by Sir Isaac Newton and Stop And Linger.

Grecian Tiger is Weld’s hope in the two-mile handicap but there looks to be a lot to like about Crystal Pearl’s chance here.

It will be her first flat start for Charles Byrnes but she has run five times over flights for the Co Limerick trainer and looks up to exploiting a mark of 66.

The juvenile fillies maiden has been won in the previous two years by a 1,000 Guineas winner and an Oaks runner up. It looks a competitive heat again but veteran trainer Jim Bolger can supply a likely winner in the Curragh runner-up Siamsaiocht.

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