Irish Eyes: Go on O'Gwaun
Our Irish Eyes column returns to preview Wednesday's action at Galway Park and fancies a big day for the Maguire family.
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Right, first things first, the nap goes to Whitey O’Gwaun. He’s trading at around even-money, which might seem short enough but there will be plenty of Dermot Weld-trained horses trading at odds-on this week that will get beaten! Whitey O’Gwaun shouldn’t however.
As a juvenile, Whitey had three runs. He was third to subsequent Group One winner War Command, beaten less than three lengths. He then ran the 101-rated Carlo Bugatti to three-parts of a length here at Ballybrit last September on good ground prior to a disappointing run when only fourth at Tipperary on yielding.
This season, he's had just had the one run where, to be frank, Dermot pulled a bit of a ‘Sir Mark’ and ran him over seven furlongs when he evidently needs further. He only beat one home in that race at The Curragh 11 days ago but today’s race was the one connections had in mind all along. He is upped five furlongs in trip here but that is exactly what he needs as he’s bred to stay longer than that annoying best friend of the girl/boy you are trying to chat up on a night out.
Adrian Maguire’s talented son Finny gets his first ride for Dermot Weld today on the Sheikh Mohammed-owned gelding and claims a useful seven pounds off his back. Make no mistake, this 89-rated individual is no star but his immediate rivals today are a National Hunt horse and a very slow Aidan O’Brien-trained individual. Today is Whitey’s ‘Derby’ and it would be foolish to look elsewhere.
Sister Slew looked a good bet at 8/1 in the 0-70 handicap at 1805 and still makes some appeal even though his odds have crashed through the floor since. This mare is owned by local man, Tom Howley of EasiFix fame. EasiFix manufacture various things, including hurdles that have been a fixture here at Galway for a long time, and are a growing feature in training centres and racecourse’s across the UK and Ireland.
Obviously Tom is immersed in horses and a good friend of trainer Gordon Elliott and it seems to fair imagine that Sister Slew has been pencilled in for this race for some time.
A winner here last season for Joe Murphy, she has been rated above 70 on every start since she first qualified for a mark, with the exception of her last start earlier this month, her first since joining Elliott and her first run for over nine months.
Although she ran well,off 68, finishing fifth of 12 beaten six lengths, the handicapper nevertheless decided to give her a further helping hand for this 0-70 by dropping her another pound to 67. That should help negate her bad draw in 12 here and she is a solid next-best selection.
David Wachman’s horses have come into tremendous form over the past few weeks with two winners, eight seconds and two thirds from his last 18 runners. A further two finished 6th and 7th in last night’s feature Topaz Mile, beaten under four and a half lengths. To put it more simply, 14 of his last 18 have run crackers!
Ruler Of France gets the each-way selection in the 6.40 and the hope is that today’s ground conditions might see a return to form. Although poorly drawn, he has shown enough speed to lead in his races which is a great asset around here and jockey Wayne Lordan is in fantastic form. The Weld representative (Sarafiyla) could well be significantly better than her allocated mark of 86 but at the prices, Ruler Of France should give a good account of himself at 12/1 with SkyBet.