The Irish do like their summer racing festivals and the Galway Festival is clearly the biggest of the lot. There are 7 days of racing both on the flat and over jumps. Some intrepid punters go for the whole seven days which is some achievement given the amount of Guinness that will be drunk both during the races and after but I suspect they haven’t got much memory of what happened by the end of the seven days.
Whilst the Galway Festival has a mixed card of flat and jumps, the most valuable of the flat races is the Topaz Mile on the Tuesday, but it’s the jumps races that are the highlights of the meeting for many punters, On Wednesday there is The Galway Plate over fences, won last year by Road To Riches who went on to finish in the places in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. On the Thursday there is the Guinness Galway Hurdle with €300,000 in the prize fund and is sure to attract a competitive field of runners.
Dermot Weld Runners A Wealth Warning!
As ever I am going to see what trainers tend have their runners ready to run big races at Galway. I am going to start by looking at Dermot Weld who is undoubtedly the “King of the Galway Festival”. As you can see his record with all runners since 2010 is outstanding!
A tremendous strike rate with almost a third of his runners winning but if we look at the A/E it was about was expected and in the past two seasons although he continued to have plenty of winners you would have lost money backing his runners.
2014 – 9 wins/39 bets -20.76
2013 – 8 wins/31 bets – 11.21
A loss of nearly 32pts in the past seasons tells its own story and when some of the lazier racing journalists go on about Dermot Weld’s fantastic record here you will know it only tells part of the story from a punting perspective.
Galway Handicap Trainers To Note
Time to dig a little deeper and look at those trainers whose festival runners who are worth looking at from a punting perspective. Once again looking at handicaps only, here are the trainers you have to respect. I have divided them into Flat and National Hunt.
I have a suspicion that the market will catch up with his runners after two good seasons in 2013 & 2014 but they are still worth a second look in flat handicaps. Jockey Fran Berry is good booking for the yard being 3/7 +12.75 and also note the trainer’s runners in the flat amateur rider handicaps!
Other Trainers of Interest (Flat)
Sarah Dawson – 2 wins/6 bets +26
Edward Lynam – 2 wins/9 bets +10
Dennis Hogan – 3 wins/9 bets +8.75
John Kiely – 3 wins/11 bets +11
Anthony Mullins – 2 wins/8 bets +7.55
Tony Martin – 5 bets/24 bets + 7.1
Interestingly Willie Mullins who dominates Irish National Hunt racing is 2 wins/20 bets
-12.75 here. I wonder if 2015 will see anything different. At the moment his horses are more for the layers than backers.
Tony Martin’s record in both Flat/National Hunt Handicaps since 2010 is:
To conclude: I am sure Dermot Weld will continue to be the top trainer at the meeting numerically but Tony Martin has targeted the meeting profitably in recent seasons and although the market may catch up with his runners they have to be seen as contenders for they races they contest.