Showers expected for the beginning of the Galway Festival

With the Galway Festival starting tomorrow Crockford considers if Dermot Weld will continue his domination of the meeting.


The master of Rosewell Hall has positively reigned over all others at Ballybrit having been the champion trainer twenty-seven times. Nearing an amazing 250 festival career winners, he starts the week with a runner in each race tomorrow. Weld’s was hardly out of the winners enclosure last year with seventeen victories and turf aficionados will know that Weld tends to do better at the beginning of Galwayweek. On Monday he could have a particularly fruitful relationship with Pat Smullen (who in himself has had double the Festival flat winners of other jockeys). Smullen is booked to ride three of his runners; Thunder Mountain, Fastidious and Encrypted Message.  The trainer himself particularly favours two of his horses on the first day (Train of Thought and Thunder Mountain) but considering his domination in previous years it would be worth considering them all:

4.00 Train of Thought (R Walsh)
4.30 Teach Nua (P Townend)
5.00 Thunder Mountain (P Smullen)
5.35 Midnight Music (Miss J Mangan)
6.10 Fastidious (P Smullen)
6.40 Encrypted Message (P Smullen)
7.10 Silver Concorde (Mr RP McNamara)

Later in the week, Weld has Daffern Seal (12/1) and Prince Erik (33/1) for the Galway Plate and Teach Nua  (50/1) for the Galway Hurdle. Weld faces tough opposition in both feature races and would do well to be in the winners enclosure – but he has won at the Festival at long odds before.

Crockford would not bet against Weld’s domination to continue and reckon’s that 250 winners by the end of the week is far from being a long shot.

(Photograph – Ballybrit Racecourse Galway by Robert Bone – Creative Commons)