Weld can finish off festival in style

Tycoon could bust weekend bookmakers

2013 Galway Festival, Ballybrit, Galway 30/7/2013
Trainer Dermot Weld.

2013 Galway Festival, Ballybrit, Galway 30/7/2013 Trainer Dermot Weld.


Dermot Weld has always been Public Enemy number one as far as bookmakers at Galway are concerned but the accompanying success of Tony Martin this week has helped turn the 2013 festival into a near-bloodbath for layers, a pattern that looks like it may continue through the weekend.

Even if the prolific Stuccodor gets unstuck in today’s €100,000 feature, Weld still looks to hold excellent prospects of a hat-trick on the card while Martin’s Busted Tycoon has ambitious plans for a festival hat-trick that will be one of the main focal points at Ballybrit over the next two days.

Reduced turnover
On-course layers will be taking no chances either after a week that has been marked by a stream of gambled-on winners in the feature races, plus a disastrous €800,000-plus drop in turnover on Thursday due to the deplorable weather conditions.

For an industry increasingly reliant on Galway for business survival, it has turned into something of a “perfect storm” but an intensely competitive Ahoonora Handicap offers potential relief if the English raider Pintura completes back-to-back wins in the race.

It goes against the grain to side with a well-exposed top weight on very testing ground conditions but Pintura is reunited with Declan McDonogh for the first time since this race last year, has a good draw, and should be happier at the seven-furlong trip than in Tuesday’s big mile event behind Brendan Brackan.

Ground conditions have resulted in just one jumps race today and the going will certainly be different compared to when Cara’s Oscar looked to be taken off his feet at Killarney last time, something that could help Colm Murphy’s horse outrun big odds.

Leafcutter’s debut in a hot Curragh maiden makes the Weld juvenile hard to oppose in the opening maiden while Leigh Roche’s claim off the already lightly-weighted Mahon Falls in the Nursery can help towards a quick Weld double.

Busted Tycoon transferred her good hurdles form successfully to the flat here earlier in the week when hitting the bookies over the course and distance of today’s finale and while 10st 6lb is a big weight to hump around soft ground, a 5lb penalty didn’t look the extent of her superiority when beating Dancers Dilemma.

The filly is also entered back over flights tomorrow in a mares handicap hurdle that may prove too good an opportunity for connections to resist if she comes through today unscathed.

Much better suited
Notable Graduate proved disappointing in Monday’s big amateur heat but has just his second start over flights in a maiden hurdle where the brother to Refuse To Bend and Media Puzzle may be much better suited to the conditions than Curley Bill who was engaged here last night.

Sukiyaki is one of Jim Bolger’s rare bumper starters tomorrow and will be hoping for a happier experience than earlier in the week when getting badly short of room in the closing stages, and just after the line, in the race won by Wicklow Brave.

Sukiyaki strictly has ground to make up on the third on that occasion but Bolger’s decision to return so quickly looks significant.