There are 4 big summer handicaps run this week. 2 at Goodwood and 2 at Galway. They are the bet365 mile, the 32 Red Cup, the Galway Plate and the Galway Hurdle.
Today sees Number 1 on the list – The Galway Plate take place at 5.30pm. This is always a competitive affair with a maximum field of 22 runners racing over the odd distance of 2m 6f at a helter skelter course and run at a furious pace.
Normally most of the big races are run over more standard distances of 2m 4f or 3m+ and this in-between distance sets punters a problem. Do you go with the faster horses that can win over 2m 4f or go with the stayers who can win over 3m? Pace versus stamina, it’s always a question.
As with most big handicaps, The Galway Plate has built up some pretty useful stats over the last 10 years, on which we can base our selections.
1) 8/10 were aged 7 – 9
2) 9/10 carried less than 11 stone
3) 8/10 were rated 127 – 139
4) 10/10 had run in no more than 16 chases
5) 10/10 had won over 2m 4f
So by using the stats we can start our look at the Galway Plate by focussing on horses 13 to 22, a nice group of 10.
Out of these we can lose Away We Go, Golden Kite, Shanpallas and Wise Old Owl due to age, leaving us a shortlist of Grandads Horse, It’s a Gimme, Lord Ben, Burn and Turn, Balnaslow and Count Salazar.
Of these I will omit Grandads Horse, who looked out of sorts a couple of weeks ago at Market Rasen in the Summer Plate, and It’s a Gimme who won the Summer Plate but who looked a really hard ride and needed all of AP McCoy’s force to get him home. I think it is significant that AP isn’t aboard today.
That leaves us 4, which is 1 too many for my plan. Lord Ben has run 3rd here to Rebel Fitz (a former Galway Hurdle winner) over 2m and was placed over 3m later on , so I don’t think stamina will be an issue, but a lack of a win over 2m 4f rules him out.
Down to the final 3 – Burn and Turn, Balnaslow and Count Salazar. These 3 fit the bill for my stats. It is very interesting that Brian O’Connell has got down to 10st 3lbs (only 1lb higher than his lowest weight) to ride Count Salazar who has a course and distance win to his name, whilst Robbie Power and Jessica Harrington are a force to be reckoned with when they team up, making Burn and Turn a major player. Balnalsow represents two of racing’s’ major powers in W. Mullins and Gigginstown Stud, so obviously he has to be in the bet.
I am going to try and crack all 4 of the big races this week and grow my bank from a starting pot of 10 units by using a staggered staking system that will ensure a decent profit from each horse if they win.
The Galway Plate 5.30 pm – Best Bets
5 points on Burn and Turn @ 10/1 with bet365 (profit 45 points)
3 points on Balnaslow @ 16/1 with bet365 (profit 41 points)
2 points on Count Salazar @ 33/1 with bet365 (profit 58 points)