|Friday 24th July 2020|
Galway Festival 2020 Betting Preview
The stands may be largely silent and car parks empty but the Irish betting sites are still gearing themselves up for seven days of top-quality horse racing in the 2020 Galway Festival. The action gets underway at this historic racecourse on Monday 27th July and continues through to Sunday 2nd August, meaning that punters have a full seven days of Flat and jump racing at this meeting, thus making it one of the longest in the world.
The first Galway Festival was held back in 1869 and lasted for two days. The length of the meeting was extended to three days in 1959 and four days in 1971. Such has been its popularity that is has been lengthened numerous times since then and over 150,000 racegoers now attend over the seven days each year.
The headline acts at this prestigious meeting are without doubt the Galway Plate ( 2 mile 6 1/2 furlong handicap chase) which takes place on Wednesday and the Galway Hurdle ( 2 mile ) which gets underway on Thursday. Both of these feature races commence at the traditional start time of 6:45pm.
This is a hugely competitive handicap chase, awash with experienced quality chasers and a possible clue for future Cheltenham Festival winners. First contested in 1869, this race is the star feature of the meeting with notable recent winners including Ansar in 2004 and 2005 as well as Road To Riches in 2014.
Esteemed Irish trainers Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins both have strong hands in this race and the best hope for the Mullins lies with 7/1 Easy Game, the six-year-old having been beaten by Faugheen by only half a length in the Flogas Novice Chase earlier this year. He was fancied in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham in March but unfortunately fell at the last.
The best hope for Gordon Elliott in this race lies with 13/2 favourite Galvin, this runner finishing in the first two in all-but-two of his eleven completed races. Another worth keeping an eye on is Cheltenham Festival 2019 winner Early Doors, the Joseph O'Brien seven-year-old finishing well down the field when returning from the lengthy break at Tipperary last month but nevertheless a genuine contender on this course.
This hugely competitive two miler is generally targeted by trainers who plan to head into the Cheltenham Festival with star runners in the later stages of their careers. The race has an illustrious roll of honour with past winners including Overturn in 2010, Clondaw Warrior in 2016 and Sharjah in 2018, the latter finishing as runner-up in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival earlier this year.
As far as the Hurdle is concerned, general 8/1 shot Aramon is a genuine contender for Mullins, the seven-year-old winning by two lengths over Petit Mouchoir at Tipperary last month. Olly Murphy-trainer Hunters Call is another interesting proposition for this race at a general price of 10/1, the ten-year-old having triumphed earlier this month in his first start in over two and a half years.