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NI duo O'Hare and Lavery eye Galway joy

 

Two top Northern Ireland riders have been called up for the first night feature at the Galway Festival, the Connacht Hotel flat race for amateurs. (stock photo)
Two top Northern Ireland riders have been called up for the first night feature at the Galway Festival, the Connacht Hotel flat race for amateurs. (stock photo)

By Ron McKnight

Two top Northern Ireland riders have been called up for the first night feature at the Galway Festival, the Connacht Hotel flat race for amateurs.

Banbridge's Mark O'Hare, a dual champion on the northern point to point circuit and based with Noel Meade, will partner the Willie Mullins-trained Royal Illusion, the trainer represented by a quartet of runners and having won the last two renewals with his son Patrick aboard Legal Spin.

Downpatrick-based Declan Lavery has been enlisted by trainer Tony Martin for Mr Everest, the horse owned by American publican John Breslin, who combined with the trainer to land the prize in 2014 on Quick Jack. That supplied Martin with back-to-back victories having won the previous year with Edeymi.

Both winners were partnered by former top Banbridge amateur Steven Clements, who is now retired.

The £120,000 amateurs derby is a coveted prize for riders and always ultra-competitive.

JP McManus has a duo engaged, the British-trained Litterale Ci and Baba Boom. The latter is trained by Johnny Murtagh and is the mount of multiple champion rider Derek O'Connor, and gets the each way vote as a 14/1 chance.

Shakespeare's Gallery, a winner at Down Royal in May, is one of a pair of Joseph O'Brien-trained runners and is partnered by Tom Hamilton, a rising star of the amateur ranks.

County Tyrone trainer James Lambe runs a duo in the opening novice hurdle - Herdwick and Indian Admiral - while Omagh trainer Mervyn Torrens sends Water Sprite to the Ballybrit track and Banbridge handler Sarah Dawson runs Magic Sea in the handicap hurdle.

Mark O'Hare is due to partner newcomer Mezyan for trainer John J Hanlon in the concluding bumper.

Open Wide can close off the opposition to scoop the pot in the Marathonbet Sportsbook Windsor Sprint Series Handicap Final at the Berkshire track.

Amanda Perrett's five-year-old took one of the qualifiers last month, and ran with great credit too when snatching second place behind Tis Marvellous over the minimum trip at Ascot two weeks ago.

The return to six furlongs is certain to be in his favour, and he should be primed for this valuable pot. After all, he was third in last year's renewal.

Lightly-raced Bruyere may have what it takes in the Marathonbet Official Global Partner Of Manchester City Handicap.

Dean Ivory's filly showed precious little in three novice and maiden outings last autumn, especially in her two attempts on the all-weather track.

But she shaped with more promise, despite still looking green, when she returned on handicap debut at Newbury last month. Average improvement will give her a decent chance.

With Caution has been a model of consistency, although James Tate's three-year-old has been out of luck since winning her first two career starts in the winter.

That can change for the better in the Silk Series Lady Riders' Handicap.

Forewarning put up a sterling effort on his first run since having a wind operation, and can gain just reward in the Weddings At Western House Hotel Handicap.

SELECTIONS:

AYR: 2.00 Solemn Pledge, 2.30 Arogo, 3.00 Forewarning, 3.30 Presidential, 4.00 Hortzadar, 4.30 Strong Steps, 5.05 Jacob's Pillow.

FFOS LAS: 5.10 Perfect Charm, 5.45 Ikaann, 6.15 Young General, 6.50 Smokey Lane, 7.25 Dell' Arca, 8.00 Queen's Soldier, 8.30 Silverturnstogold.

GALWAY: 5.20 Authorized Art, 5.55 Linger, 6.25 Innisfree, 7.05 Silver Service, 7.40 Baba Boom, 8.10 Monty's Miracle, 8.40 Russian Diamond

NEWTON ABBOT: 2.15 Parody, 2.45 Little Windmill, 3.15 Tamarillo Grove, 3.45 Admiral's Sunset, 4.15 Excellent Team, 4.45 Samson, 5.15 The Lion Queen.

WINDSOR: 5.00 It's How We Roll, 5.35 Royal Ambition, 6.05 Smokey Bear, 6.40 Ocala, 7.15 With Caution, 7.50 OPEN WIDE (NAP), 8.20 Bruyere.

DOUBLE: Open Wide and With Caution.

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