Willie Mullins gears up for Galway Plate drive
Willie Mullins is chasing his second TheTote.com Galway Plate this evening – and he's got six hopes to help him do it.
The champion trainer won the valuable handicap chase with Blazing Tempo in 2011 and this year's team is headed by top-weight Ballycasey, who is joined by stablemates Alelchi Inois, Shaneshill, Arbre De Vie and Haymount, with Sambremont currently sitting on the reserves' bench.
Henry de Bromhead can go one better than Mullins, with a possible squad of seven including the well-fancied Balko Des Flos.
Last year's hero Lord Scoundrel is one of just two guaranteed a run for Gordon Elliott, with the Noel Meade-trained Road To Riches another former winner in contention again.
The hat-trick seeking Sandymount Duke and Cheltenham Festival winner Rock The World represent Jessica Harrington, while Joseph O'Brien has a big chance with Slowmotion, and Ballybolley and Vintage Vinnie fly the British flag.
The raiding party have major claims in the Tote Irish EBF Mares Handicap Hurdle courtesy of Our Kylie.
Brian Ellison's five-year-old was successful in this event last season and has been kept exclusively to the Flat since, winning her last two in that sphere.
It is remarkable that Silver Concorde is still without a victory over timber but, to be fair, he hasn't had that many chances and attempts to go one better than he did last year in the opening Win Big With Tote Maiden Hurdle at 3.15.
His trainer Dermot Weld has won the TheTote.com Maiden no less than 15 times since 1996 and now relies on Sansibar Jewel, who was turned over at odds-on on her return but has been freshened up since.
St Stephen's Green was touched off by Heartbreak City over hurdles here in 2016 and returns for the two-mile Win Big With Tote Handicap, while the progressive Lightening Fast tops the list for the Win Big With Tote Handicap over an extended mile, and William B seeks a three-timer in TheTote.com Handicap Hurdle.
Watch the Galway Races Day 3, live on RTÉ 1 from 3pm
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