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Team O'Brien vying to repeat dominance as Galway Festival makes altered return



Form book: Andy Oliver is out to build on a good record

Form book: Andy Oliver is out to build on a good record

�INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Form book: Andy Oliver is out to build on a good record

The Galway Festival gets under way this evening, but it will be a different experience at the Ballybrit venue which is normally a summer mecca for racegoers, bookmakers and tourists.

Numerous changes apply this week beside the strict health protocols and, rather than mixed cards, fixtures will be solely flat or national hunt on the day.

Dermot Weld for 28 years concluded the festival as champion trainer, however in recent seasons team O'Brien - champion trainer, Aidan and sons Joseph and Donnacha - have become dominant players.

Johnny Murtagh has a very large team entered at the meeting and said Champers Elysees in tomorrow's listed feature race could be his best of the week.

Tyrone trainer Andy Oliver has a good record at the track and has Inside Tel and Simply True entered tonight, while Warrenpoint handler Leanne Breen has enjoyed a good start this term and runs new addition Mandolin Wind in the second division of the seven furlong handicap.

As ever, the Connacht Hotel Handicap for amateur riders features on the first session.

Last year's winner Great White Shark will again have Jill Townend aboard - the rider a sister of former champion jump jockey Paul Townend, now stable jockey for Willie Mullins.

The trainer's son Patrick has opted for Sharjah, while Downpatrick rider Declan Lavery gets the call up for Tiger Tap Tap. Willie's brother Tony provides the likely favourite with Princess Zoe.

Banbridge's Mark O'Hare is due to partner Mutadaffeq for trainer Gavin Cromwell, however A Wave Of The Sea provides each way value at 20/1.

GALWAY SELECTIONS: 4.10 Blue For You 4.40 Talking Tough 5.15 Royal Canford 5.45 Atlas 6.15 Share The Honour 6.45 A Wave Of The Sea 7.15 Dazzling Darren 7.45 Ciel D'Afrrique

Belfast Telegraph