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Keane great value to stun Smullen as leading jockey

Colin Keane: could strike on Inscribe at Gowran Park
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Dermot Weld is 6-1 with Paddy Power to be the leading trainer at Galway this week.

Such a statement would have sounded utterly bonkers ahead of the last 20 festivajls at Ballybrit but the Master of Rosewell House has endured a difficult time so far this season and the layers seem to think his luckless streak will continue even at his happiest of hunting grounds.

Weld won the award 18 times on the trot before Willie Mullins spoiled the party in 2016 by winning nine races, a remarkable feat considering he ran only 17 horses in 15 different races.

A double on the final day thanks to Alelchi Inois and Devils Bride secured the title for Ireland's top trainer with Weld managing only six winners. 

Ignoring that blip, you have to trawl all the way back to Aidan O'Brien in 1997 to find the last time Weld was not presented with the top trainer award at Ballybrit, but can he wrestle back his crown this week?

Mullins has hardened into 4-6 from 5-6 with Paddy Power, while Joseph O'Brien, who was originally priced up at 14-1 is now just 9-4. The firm's spokesman Paul Binfield says they are the only two who punters want to be on in that lively market.

"The top trainer market at Galway has been pretty lively in the last two years and everyone wants to be on Willie this time. They can no longer count on Weld to bring home the bacon.

"Willie has won the opening race for the last three years in a row and he might get off to a flyer once again with the unbeaten Nessun Dorma. He could be a hard man to catch," Binfield said. "The early money when we priced up the trainers' market was for Joseph O'Brien."

Willie Mullins: has a great chance at becoming top trainer at Galway

Mullins appears the most likely winner of that top trainer award but is no value at 4-6 so the Top Flat Jockey market is the more interesting one from a punting perspective where Colin Keane looks overpriced at 4-1.

Keane sits at the summit of the Flat jockeys championship with 49 winners, eight more than Kevin Manning and nine more than defending champion Pat Smullen, and he is sure to be busy this week.

His main employer Ger Lyons has a whole host of entries for the first few days of Galway and Lightening Fast, Room To Roam, Gold Spinner, Psychedelic Funk and the recently gelded Noivado all catch the eye. 

Galway is a track where it pays to race close to the pace and Keane is one of the best in the business from the front.


Top Flat jockey
Paddy Power: 10-11 Pat Smullen, 9-4 Donnacha O'Brien, 4 Colin Keane, 14 Chris Hayes, 20 Kevin Manning.

Top jumps jockey
Paddy Power: 5-6 Ruby Walsh, 5-2 Barry Geraghty, 7-2 Davy Russell, 14 Patrick Mullins, 25 Jody McGarvey, 33 Bryan Cooper.

Top trainer
Paddy Power: 4-6 Willie Mullins, 9-4 Joseph O'Brien, 6 Dermot Weld, 16 Gordon Elliott, 25 Tony Martin, 50 Aidan O'Brien.

Galway is a track where it pays to race close to the pace and Keane is one of the best in the business from the front
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