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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Ellison flies British flag once again as Baraweez is back for more Galway glory

Baraweez: Galway regular returns
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Brian Ellison has been bitten by the Ballybrit bug and those symptoms will return once again this week as he brings his biggest ever team to Galway, which, of course, will include Baraweez. 

Seven-year-old Baraweez is entered in both the Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap on Tuesday and the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Ahonoora Handicap on Sunday. 

He has turned up in those races for each of the last three years, finishing third on the Tuesday and winning on the Sunday on his first visit in 2014. In 2015 he was second on Tuesday and won on Sunday, while he was fifth on both days in 2016.

Last year's unsuccessful voyage with Baraweez was down to bad draws according to Ellison and he is hoping for better luck on this occasion. 

"Baraweez loves Galway almost as much as me!" he joked on Sunday.

"The track seems to suit him and hopefully he will get better luck this year when it comes to the draw. He was out in the car park for both his races last year which was such a pity. He seems in great form at home and I am looking forward to bringing him back."

Ellison has 12 horses entered at Galway up to next Thursday and expects to have many more over the final three days. He will launch a three-pronged attack at the Colm Quinn BMW Mile on Tuesday and hopes all three will get in.

Our Kylie, winner of the mares' handicap hurdle on Wednesday last year, is another who is back for more, as she bids for a repeat victory.

Ellison said: "Baraweez, Dream Walker and Stipulate are all entered in the big mile race on Tuesday and I am praying that they will all get in as they are in great form. Our Kylie will run in the mares hurdle too so we do have a good team again this year.

Our Kylie (green and yellow silks, white face) avoided trouble in the mares handicap hurdle last year

"I love coming to Galway and having a winner makes it that bit extra special. We rent a house for the week about 20 minutes from the city and we always have a great laugh. It is one of my favourite weeks of the year. The plan is to stay for all seven days so I just hope I can last that long!"

If not for Ellison there would have been no British-trained winner at Galway since the Kevin Ryan-trained Pintura in 2012. 

Ellison has been single-handedly flying the British flag in recent years, thanks mainly to the brilliant Baraweez who won back-to-back runnings of the Ahoonora Premier Handicap in 2014 and 2015. He completed a double last year thanks to Dream Walker (Ahoonora Handicap) and Our Kylie (Tote EBF Mares' Handicap Hurdle). 

The last British-trained winner of the Guinness Galway Hurdle was the front-running Overturn back in 2010 but Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and Betfair only go 4-1 about that drought ending as there are six overseas entries.

Ladbrokes go 14-1 about a British-trained winner of thetote.com Galway Plate, something which has not happened since Oslot in 2008. Ballybolley and Vintage Vinnie are the two best equipped to bridge that gap on Wednesday.


Paddy Power Specials 

British-trained winner of Galway Plate: 6-1
British-trained winner of Galway Hurdle: 4-1
Number of British-trained winners at Galway: Under 1.5 winners 8/11, Over 1.5 winners Evs

Ladbrokes Specials
British-trained winner of Galway Plate: 14-1
British-trained winner of Galway Hurdle: 4-1 
Baraweez to win any race during Galway? 10-1

Betfair Specials
British-trained winner of Galway Plate: 6-1 
British-trained winner of Galway Hurdle: 4-1 
Number of British-trained winners at Galway: Under 1.5 winners 8/11, Over 1.5 winners Evs


BEST OF THE BRITISH IN 2017

Bletchley (Corrib Fillies Stakes, Thursday)
Narrowly denied by Brave Anna in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot last year, this daughter of Makfi returned with a win at Leicester on her first start of 2017 and was only collared late in a Listed race at Carlisle last time. A track like Galway should be right up her street, as is the 7f trip, and her mark of 100 brings her right into the mix. There was plenty of cut in the ground for her career-best effort in the Albany so the rain-softened Galway ground should not pose a problem.

Project Bluebook (Guinness Galway Hurdle, Thursday)
John Quinn's last voyage to Ireland with this four-year-old was a successful one as he landed a Grade 2 hurdle at Fairyhouse in April and it appears that Ireland's richest hurdle race has been the aim ever since. Fourth in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival off a mark of 138, a 3lb higher mark might not be enough to prevent him from being a major player in Thursday's showpiece.

Project Bluebook: will be hard to beat on Thursday

Machine Learner (Guinness Handicap, Friday)
Lambourn-based Joe Tuite knows how to peak his staying handicappers for the big day having sent out Litigant to win the Ebor in 2015, and he could plunder one of the big prizes at Ballybrit this week thanks to this rapidly-improving four-year-old. His hat-trick bid was foiled by UAE King at Sandown earlier this month and that form looks red-hot now given what his conqueror did at Ascot last Friday. He won on soft ground at Catterick last October so the conditions should hold no fears for him.


BRITISH-TRAINED WINNERS AT GALWAY SINCE 2010 

2016
Dream Walker (Ahoonora Handicap)
Our Kylie (Tote EBF Mares' Handicap Hurdle)

2015
Baraweez (Ahoonora Handicap)

2014
Baraweez (Ahoonora Handicap)

2012
Pintura (Labrokes Mobile App Handicap)

2010
Invisble Man (Latin Quarter Chase)
Overturn (Guinness Galway Hurdle)

Baraweez loves Galway almost as much as me!
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