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Galway Festival: Big day in prospect for JP

In the immediate aftermath of another racing bonanza at Galway there's no let-up in the hectic schedule of meetings, with both Cork — where the action is confined to National Hunt fare — and Naas, with a family fun theme, catering for Bank Holiday patrons.

Fresh from a Ballybrit feature-race double with Finger Onthe Pulse and Silverhand, Limerick's premier racing enthusiast JP McManus now figures as sponsor of two races at the Mallow venue, where his Niall Madden-trained pair Salesin and Ainama could succeed.

The famous green and gold colours might also hit the target on the double at Naas, with Madden-trained sprinter The Hamptons and The Equaliser from Christy Roche's yard, which looks a worthy favourite for the Admission Bundle at Naas Hurdle.

This highlights the value on offer at the Kildare course, where for instance this afternoon the special family deal of €20 admission for two adults with children includes a €10 betting voucher.

Both the on-course layers and the caterers have helped Naas manager Tom Ryan to offer excellent value all year round and there's something for every taste there today, with Flat and hurdles events before the eight-race schedule ends with the traditional bumper.

With a record-breaking tour de force at Galway in the bank, Dermot Weld campaigns much closer to home here and — in association once more with the ever-loyal Haefner family's Moyglare Stud Farm — could add a couple more winners to their burgeoning haul.

Rock Critic, which was one of the least tested of Rosewell House's Ballybrit victors, resumes in the latest leg of the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap series under a mandatory 5lb penalty, while I wouldn't care to bet against the Weld team coming up with the winner in the Irish Stallion Farms Fillies Maiden as well, courtesy of Fairyhouse debut third Truth Seeking.

Belfast Telegraph

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