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Sands shifting towards a surprise Galway Hurdle win

By Ron McKnight

Ancient Sands can win the €300,000 Guinness Galway Hurdle, the feature on Ladies Day at the Galway Festival and the richest hurdle race in the sport

Trained by John Kiely - who claimed the Galway Plate in 2013 with Carlingford Lough, the great AP McCoy aboard - 20-1 shot Ancient Sands is an ultra consistent dual purpose performer and has been placed at the track in several flat contests.

The Galway-based owners also have Hidden Cyclone engaged in the feature.

Ted Veale, runner-up in Monday's amateur feature, turns out again as last year when third in the hurdle feature following a place in the opening evening feature.

Tony Martin is represented by last year's victor Quick Jack and Pyromaniac, the latter getting permission to run following a Dublin High Court ruling, with the judicial review into the horse's previous effort postponed until a later date and the trainer stating yesterday he thought the horse the pick of his trio.

Leading Irish jumps owner JP McManus is doubly represented with Plinth and Tigris River, the pair trained by Joseph O'Brien, the rookie handler already having a trio of winners on the board at Ballybrit.

Gordon Elliott is another trainer with a duo engaged in The Plan Man and Tempo Mac, the Meath handler already on the board at Galway and, following success at Perth earlier in the week, has Commissioned in today's Goodwood Cup.

Clondaw Warrior, a high-class dual purpose horse, has Ruby Walsh in the saddle with champion jumps trainer Willie Mullins also running top weight Bamako Moriviere.

British challenger Superb Story, winner of the County Hurdle at Cheltenham earlier this year, is the ante post favourite.

Modem turns out after finishing third in a Curragh flat race but Robbie Power - Jessica Harrington's stable jockey - opts for Rock The World.

Time For Mabel, trained by Edward O'Grady, is an improving sort while Silver Concorde, runner-up yesterday over hurdles, has again been declared to run by Dermot Weld.

Last night's feature, the €220,000 Galway Plate, was won by Lord Scoundrel, ridden by Donagh Meyler - who was hit with a four-day whip ban.

GALWAY HURDLE FORECAST: 1st Ancient Sands 2nd Pyromaniac 3rd Clondaw Warrior

TODAY'S GALWAY SELECTIONS 1.50 Roll It Out 2.25 Tiger Roll 3.00 Hidden Oasis 3.30 Emergent 4.05 Carrig Cathal 5.25 Athenry Boy 6.00 Playbook

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