Tony Martin can send bookies to Heartbreak City

Golden Spear looks another good prospect at Galway for controversial trainer

Tony Martin can get Day Five of the Galway festival off to a good start for punters as Heartbreak City should prove hard to beat in the opening handicap hurdle.

The controversial trainer has half-a-dozen declarations for Friday’s action including Golden Spear who will attempt to go one better than last year in the featured €100,000 Guinness Handicap.

Off the same mark as when he found only Clondaw Warrior too good in 2015, Golden Spear looks a leading player while Pyromaniac’s half brother Jensen is later due to make his racing debut in the four-runner finale.

It is Heartbreak City though who looks to boast very noticeable claims, especially with the Plate-winning jockey Donagh Meyler claiming 5lbs.


Maiden hurdle

That leaves a horse rated 103 on the flat, after a dozen length saunter at Cork during the spring, carrying just 10.7 on his back here.

He subsequently only just won a maiden hurdle in May but that was Martin's last winner for a couple of months as the stable came under a cloud so it's reasonable to suspect it wasn't a true reflection of Heartbreak City's ability.

It is a remarkable 23 years since Dermot Weld landed the Guinness Handicap but the 'King of Ballybrit' is likely to fancy his chances of bridging that gap with Alveena.

The Aga Khan-owned filly skipped a trip to Goodwood for a Group Three in order to run here, sports first-time blinkers and can boast a good run in the Curragh Cup last time.

She does have a big weight however and Martin can call on first-hand experience of his rival after engaging Leigh Roche to ride Golden Spear. The jockey rode Alveena on one occasion last year and although Golden Spear is officially 1lb 'wrong' on ratings, Roche is a notably strong lightweight rider.

The draw hasn't favoured Weld on a number of occasions this week and Lost In Silence's chances are hardly boosted by a stall ten of 12 position in the seven furlong juvenile maiden.

However the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor has a very decent debut run at Limerick to her credit and that experience can swing things her way against the Ballydoyle newcomer Wings Of Eagles.

Nothing goes into the conditions race in better form than Ivan Grozny who turned a Grade Three hurdle at Tipperary earlier this month into a rout. Declan McDonogh can enjoy another festival success on Willie Mullins's runner.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

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