Mahon Can Finish The Festival On A High

It was a very tough day today and only Shanghai Glory managed to hit the frame for us at 16/1. He was an unlucky 5th having been hampered around 3f out and he did well to finish as close as he did. Lucky Beggar was carried right across the track in the opener and only for that he might have challenged for a place. Across Dubai looked to be travelling well at one stage but his effort petered out in the closing stages. There was a bit of money for Jufn but he never got to the front and he is one to keep a close eye on next time out.
Stephen Mahon will be desperate to get a winner at Galway.
Jarob was probably my biggest fancy of the day but unfortunately he was scratched. Spirit Of Dreams ran a promising enough race to finish 5th in the nursery and I think another furlong would be a big help to him as he stayed on after getting outpaced. Fastidious did too much too soon and he is one to watch out for at Dundalk later in the season. Total Demolition didn’t disgrace himself but he had to challenge widest of all and at Galway that rarely ends well. Tomorrow I will be backing just one horse at Galway, and I think Afatcat can outrun his odds for local trainer Stephen Mahon.
A Galway Festival without a Mahon winner is a rare occurrence but unless he gets one tomorrow it will be a reality. He has had a few horses run well, USA and Stormey for example, but I think Afatcat represents one of his best chances of the week in the opening handicap hurdle at 14.15. This former course and distance winner is burdened with top weight off a mark of 114, but Conor Brassil eases the burden with his 4lb claim and that could make a big difference for this 9yo son of Araafa.
This fella is at his very best on decent ground, but he has plenty of placed form in the book on soft, including around here. He has had four runs since the start of May and he has been ultra consistent without getting his head in front. He is likely to have been campaigned with this race firmly in mind and he ran a lovely last prep race at Limerick (16f gd) a month ago. He was a good 5th under Robbie Dunne and he should be in peak condition tomorrow.
He is a pound lower than when runner up at this festival on good ground last season and that was a race he should have won. Chris Timmons lost his irons after the last and he ended up being beaten just half a length by Camlann. He was also a good 2nd here in July 2015 on soft off a mark of 93, beaten just a couple of lengths by the exceedingly well handicapped Dollar And A Dream.
The booking of Conor Brassil is a plus in my view and he is a jockey with a big future. He is worth every ounce of his 4lb claim and he has 2 wins and 4 top 4 finishes from 18 rides for Mahon. It is an interesting stat that Afatcat has been claimer ridden for 3 of his 4 career wins and he has been at least 10/1 for 3 out of the 4 wins also. Mahon will be desperate to get a winner on the board so you can be sure this lad will be doing his best and once the ground doesn’t turn heavy I think he is well worth backing each way at 20/1 with 5 places on offer from a number of bookies.

STEVOS’ SELECTION: 14.15 GALWAY-AFATCAT E/W @ 20/1 (5 places)

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