Willie Mullins could be the man to beat again with talented Micro Manage
Sunday: 4.20 Galway
JPK Fencing Systems Race | 1m6f | 4yo+ | RTV
Willie Mullins has won three of the last five runnings of this conditions race with useful dual-purpose performers and Micro Manage, returning to the Flat after a recent stint hurdling, makes plenty of appeal as one fitting a similar bill.
A relatively lightly raced five-year-old, he looked bound for Group success after bolting up by 12 lengths in a Curragh handicap off 91 in June 2019, but was sidelined until August of last year.
There was plenty of encouragement to be taken from Micro Manage's comeback third in the Group 3 Irish St Leger Trial, but he failed to back that up when beating just one home in the final Classic of the Irish calendar, sent off just 8-1.
This represents a significant drop in class from that top-level assignment, having been turned over at short prices in two maiden hurdles last December and February.
The 104-rated contender is closely matched with Mythical, rated 103, as he makes his first start since departing Aidan O'Brien to join son Joseph and Lloyd Williams.
Mythical's only win came in a Gowran maiden at two and he lacked consistency last season, but efforts like his thirds in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud at two and the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes last August have suggested he's a talented sort.
Stablemate Arthurian Fame, rated 92, isn't best treated at the weights but Mikey Sheehy's 5lb claim will be a help to him.
The dual-purpose six-year-old handles the track, having won a rated novice hurdle here last October.
Smart Killarney winner Monas Melody takes a big step up in class but is progressive, while Ballybrit veteran Benkei looks up against it after slipping to a mark of 72 but has Flat form figures around here of 3213837.
What they say
Brendan Powell, assistant to Joseph O'Brien, trainer of Arthurian Fame and Mythical
The track and trip is going to suit Arthurian Fame. His run at Limerick would give him an each-way chance. Mythical had decent form last year, it just tailed off a bit at the end of the season. He stays well and has come back in great form. He's fit and well and we're hoping for a big run. On ratings alone he has a massive chance.
Willie Mullins, trainer of Micro Manage
The race conditions seem to suit him quite well, but it's his first start after a break and he'll probably benefit from the run. Ideally, I'd imagine he might prefer a little more ease in the ground.
Sam Curling, trainer of Monas Melody
She won very well last time and I think she'll like the ground. This trip is probably as short as she wants and she might find it tricky to beat the top two, but she'll be staying on at the finish.
Harry Rogers, trainer of Benkei
He never seems to run a bad race at Galway, but he's had a good break since his last run and this looked like a nice place for him to start back.
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