Tully East all set for Galway Plate challenge

‘We just have to hope for a bit of luck on the day’

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Alan Fleming believes Tully East has plenty going for him ahead of his bid for glory in thetote.com Galway Plate.

The eight-year-old has run just five times since winning at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival.

He rounded off last season with a fine run to finish third at the inaugural Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown and made his first appearance since in the Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary in early July, finishing eighth.

Fleming feels that run will leave his charge spot on for the 250,000 feature on day three and is confident of a bold showing.

He said: “I think he’s in as good a form as we can get him and now we just have to hope for a bit of luck on the day.

“It’s as competitive a race as you will find and everything in it will be tuned up for the day.

“Our horse had a nice run over hurdles in Tipperary, he came out of it 100 per cent and he’s freshened up well since.”

He added: “He has plenty of pace and I actually think he’ll enjoy the track.

“You’ve got to stay well – it’s turns into a bit of a slog from the final fence.”

Peter Fahey is looking forward to saddling his stable star Peregrine Run.

The King’s Theatre gelding finished third in a novice chase at this meeting a year ago and warmed up for his return by finishing fourth on the Flat behind the high-class Wicklow Brave.

“The horse seems to be doing everything right at home and I couldn’t be happier with him going into the race,” said Fahey.

“He ran a good race on the Flat in Killarney and I hope he’ll run well again in what is obviously a very competitive race.

“I just hope they don’t get too much rain overnight.”

Slowmotion was third in last year’s Galway Plate and returns as one of four runners for leading owner JP McManus.

Joseph O’Brien fits Slowmotion with blinkers for the first time off the back of finishing fourth in the aforementioned Grimes Hurdle.

O’Brien told At The Races: “She finished a good third in the Galway Plate last year, but didn’t go on from that and ended up being disappointing.

“She showed a bit more over hurdles at Tipperary last time and hopefully that is a sign she is coming back to herself.”

Champion trainer Willie Mullins could have as many as six runners.

Alechi Inois, Ballycasey, Koshari, Haymount and Saturnas all made the cut for the 22-strong field. However, perhaps the yard’s biggest hope is Patricks Park and his connections face a nervous wait to discover he will get a run as the first reserve.

Patricks Park won at the Dublin Racing Festival in February and was last seen scoring at the Punchestown Festival in April.

Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father, said: “Patricks Park won well in Leopardstown over two-mile-one, which is a good sign. He has a good cruising speed and he’ll be able to hold his position and jump well at speed.

“He looked like he stayed well in Punchestown. He only won a short head there and he got 8lb for that, so to win again he’s probably going to have to improve another 8lb.

“That would be the worry, but if he gets in he will have bottom-weight.”

The sole British-trained contender is the McManus-owned Drumcliff.

Harry Fry’s inmate was last seen claiming a valuable prize at Uttoxeter and the trainer’s sister-in-law, Aine O’Connor, keeps the ride.

Fry said: “He’s won three of his five starts over fences, he’s in good order and we’re looking forward to having a go.

“Aine O’Connor has a really good record on him and takes 7lb off his back, which will obviously be a help.

“I don’t think the ground should be any problem as long as it doesn’t go really soft, which would be ironic after the summer we’ve had.”

Gordon Elliott runs De Plotting Shed, Jury Duty, Clarcam and Lord Scoundrel, while Henry de Bromhead has five contenders in top-weight Sub Lieutenant, Valseur Lido, Calino D’Airy, Devils Bride and Conrad Hastings.

The second and third reserves are The West’s Awake and 2014 Galway Plate hero Road To Riches.

Tully East all set for Galway Plate challenge

Galway 19:20, 1 August 2018

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