Supreme Vinnie seeks another victory under best buddy Blackmore
Galway Plate Trial Handicap Chase | 2m6f | 4yo+ | ATR
Rachael Blackmore continues to set the pace at the top of the jump jockeys' table in Ireland with 17 winners next to her name and she renews her rock-solid relationship with Supreme Vinnie in this fiercely competitive handicap.
Since winning his bumper back in 2015, Supreme Vinnie has never won with anyone else but Blackmore on board.
The pair have been successful five times together, the most recent victory arriving in a hot contest at Punchestown in May when Woodland Opera was brushed aside with the minimum of fuss.
Denise O'Shea feels everything is in place for a seventh career success but has nagging doubts regarding her stable star's ability to carry big weights, and he has 11st 2lb to shoulder on this occasion against some useful and less exposed sorts.
O'Shea said: "He's in great form and he has his ground, but the one big worry I have is the weight he has to carry. If he jumps around and gets into a good rhythm, I'd like to think he's got a decent chance.
"I couldn't be happier with him but he's giving weights to some nice horses that I'm scared of. Rachael gets on great with him so fingers crossed it all goes well."
Meade returns to happy hunting ground
Noel Meade has won this Galway Plate trial twice in the last five years with Another Palm (2013) and Protaras (2015), and he has two chances of gaining a third success in six years.
Meade has one at each end of the handicap. Net D'Ecosse is rated 135, so carries top weight, but Meade has tried negate that with the booking of 7lb claimer Cathal Landers.
Right down at the bottom of the weights is Jack Slade with Sean Flanagan doing 10st 1lb.
Meade said: "Net D'Ecosse runs well in these sort of races and we thought this was the right race for him. He has top weight so I thought it would be best if we claimed off him.
"He's in good form at home and ran well enough in the Connacht National at Roscommon.
"Jack Slade has had a few problems. He looked like he might win last time at Down Royal but just seemed to cut out. He has a lovely weight this time and he'll love the ground so he should go well."
Hogan hoping handicaps will do the trick for his Meain
Inis Meain has been carrying big weights in hot novice chases of late so his trainer-rider Denis Hogan is hoping the return to handicaps off a light weight will reignite his flame.
Hogan said: "The handicapper has dropped him 2lb and returning to a handicap off a low weight might suit him.
"He hasn't run in a handicap chase for a while and it looks the right sort of race for him. He has run some nice races against some decent horses so here's hoping he enjoys himself in this."
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