Harry Fry sets sights on Galway Plate glory with Drumcliff

Trainer no stranger to success in Ireland

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Harry Fry hopes Drumcliff can reward his patient approach by providing him with more big-race glory in Ireland when he takes his chance in TheTote.com Galway Plate.

The JP McManus-owned seven-year-old is one of 58 entries – five of which are from Britain – for the extended two-mile-six-furlong prize on August 1.

He will bid to follow up his last-time-out victory over fences at Uttoxeter in May, as he becomes the Seaborough handler’s first runner at the Ballybrit track.

Fry, who sent out Unowhatimeanharry to claim Grade One glory in the Champion Stayers Hurdle at Punchestown in 2017, said: “The plan is to go to Galway, as things stand at the moment. It has been the focus since his last success at Uttoxeter.

“We did consider the Summer Plate at Market Rasen and we did look at stepping him up for the Summer Cup at Uttoxeter over three and a quarter miles, but we decided to focus on Galway.

“It is a big pool and I’m under no illusions that it’s a competitive race. You sometimes have to give these things a go and he is a second-season chaser that is hopefully still going up.

“I still can’t work out how he didn’t win over hurdles, but if he wins the Galway Plate that will make up for it.”

Henry de Bromhead struck gold 12 months ago with subsequent Ryanair Chase winner Balko Des Flos and has entered seven potential runners, including top-weight Sub Lieutenant, as he chases a third victory in four years.

Lord Scoundrel, winner of the race in 2016, is one of eight contenders for Gordon Elliott, along with Timiyan, who landed the Midlands National at Kilbeggan on Friday night.

Champion trainer Willie Mullins, whose sole success came back in 2011 with Blazing Tempo, has made 13 entries, including Grade One-winning hurdler Saturnas and Ballycasey, who was third in 2016.

In the Guinness Galway Hurdle at the track 24 hours later, a total of 44 entries have been received, among them last year’s winner Tigris River, who is one five entries for trainer Joseph O’Brien.

Mullins is responsible for 13 entries including top weight Wicklow Brave, Whiskey Sour – a dual winner at the meeting last year – and Lagostovegas, who could bid to complete a unique double having landed the Ascot Stakes at the Royal meeting last month.

Victory has so far escaped Meath handler Elliott, but he has five possibles that could help him break his duck, with 2014 third The Game Changer one of his squad.

Gavin Cromwell has entered dual Grade One-winning mare Jer’s Girl, while Noel Meade, who last won the race in 2005, is responsible for Grimes Hurdle winner Joey Sasa and Curley Bill.

The Iain Jardine-trained Bedrock heads four British-trained entries, which also feature last year’s sixth Project Bluebook from the yard of John Quinn, and the Dr Richard Newland-trained duo of Hassle and Leoncavallo.

Harry Fry sets sights on Galway Plate glory with Drumcliff
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