Uradel out to star again as Mullins runs eight in valuable handicap hurdle
Galway Shopping Centre Handicap Hurdle (Grade B) | 4yo+ | 2m7f | ATR
Uradel, winner of the Connacht Hotel Amateur Handicap on Monday, reverts to hurdles as he bids to land Saturday's Galway festival feature in which he is one of eight runners for Willie Mullins, who has farmed the big races during the week.
Mullins, who looks set to be top trainer at the meeting for the third consecutive year, has sent out three of the last five winners of this event and reports Uradel to have come out of Monday's win in good shape.
He said of Paul Townend's mount: "Uradel is in good form and we're very happy with him. He's going up in trip but we don't see that being a problem."
Ruby Walsh partners Shanning, the least experienced horse in the 20-runner line-up. The five-year-old has won both her starts over hurdles but has not run since landing a two-mile novice event here in October.
Mullins said: "Shanning lacks experience and a recent run but she jumps well and has a nice low weight (10st 3lb). She goes on the ground and should get the trip in her first handicap."
Meri Devie, winner of a valuable handicap at the Punchestown festival in April before running twice at Royal Ascot, heads the weights.
Mullins said: "She has it all to do and we're hoping Niall Kelly's 5lb claim will help."
Mark Enright, who enjoyed the biggest success of his career on Clarcam in the Galway Plate on Wednesday, rides Lareena, of whom Mullins said: "She's racing off bottom weight and we think going up in distance will suit her."
Summing up the rest of his team, Mullins continued: "Bargy Lady won well at Killarney but she's gone up 9lb, which means she has probably enough weight for her size. However, she's in flying form.
"Low Sun won a competitive handicap for her rider Katie O'Farrell at Fairyhouse over Easter and going up in trip might help him off his new mark.
"We used to think Timi Roli would be a two-miler but he's proved his stamina by winning well over three miles at Wexford last time. He's back in handicap company and in good order.
"Court Artist is coming back from a break, and the trip and ground will suit her."
What they say
Gavin Cromwell, trainer of Jer's Girl
Things seemed to happen too quickly for her in the Galway Hurdle on Thursday. She seems to have come out of it well and, while she has plenty of weight we're hoping the step up in trip might suit at this stage of her career.
Harry Fry, trainer of Minella Awards
We had planned to send him novice chasing over the summer but the ground has been too quick so we're going back to Ireland for this valuable handicap. He's run well in Ireland in the past.
Noel Meade, trainer of Act Of Security and She's A Star
This race has been the plan for Art Of Security since he won at Ballinrobe in May. He's in good form and does appreciate ease in the ground. She's A Star prefers better ground and struggled in the testing conditions when she ran on the Flat on Wednesday, so hopefully it will dry out for her.
Tom Mullins, trainer of Oscar Knight
He's in good form. We planned to run him in the Plate on Wednesday but he didn't get in. This is Plan B and I think he's on a favourable enough hurdle mark to win a nice one.
Denise Marie O'Shea, trainer of Supreme Vinnie
He's in good form for his first run over hurdles in over a year. I'm a bit concerned about the ground as he prefers good conditions, so hopefully it will dry out a bit and he'll have luck in running.
Henry de Bromhead, trainer of Killiney Court
He's in good form having won well at Downpatrick last time. He's gone up 10lb for that and hopefully the ground will dry out a bit.
Read The Briefing from 8.30am daily on racingpost.com with all the day's latest going, weather, market moves and non-runner news