Galway Festival: Rock ‘n’ Roll with the Kid
Another splendidly varied programme for Galway patrons to fathom awaits at Ballybrit this evening, when the official going description is expected to remain as good-to-yielding, with the forecast for further showers overnight.
Two competitive jumps affairs precede five races on the Flat, featuring the 120,000 euro Topaz Mile that, as ever, is a very competitive handicap with a maximum field of 18, plus three reserves, headed by previous course heroine Miranda’s Girl.
The only English challenger for the Topaz promotion now is Richard Fahey’s Extraterrestrial, as fellow Yorkshire handler Mark Johnston withdrew triple scorer Capponi.
Generally out of sorts this year, Louth native Fahey’s six-year-old will be doing well to make the journey worthwhile tonight, as the home defence is led by top weight Kargali, far from disgraced at Newbury behind Paco Boy, and last year’s popular winner, Rock And Roll Kid.
Although unfavourably drawn on the outside of the pack, the latter is still expected to make a bold bid for Tony and Danny Mullins, to emulate Galway legend Pinch Hitter, which is the only horse to have recorded successive victories.
Galway-born Luke Comer’s Kargali – which he purchased from the Aga Khan – lends a definite touch of class to the renewal.
Talented claimer Martin Harley’s mount will be much more at home here than when pitched into Group One company at Newbury behind Paco Boy in the Lockinge Stakes.
This Invincible Spirit gelding’s current rating of 108 means he has a welter burden to defy on this occasion, in common with last year's hero Rock And Roll Kid, which likewise has a wide draw to overcome off his career-high mark of 104.
Verdict: Stay with Rock And Roll Kid.