Dermot Weld is the undoubted King of Ballybrit and he will surely win Thursday’s Guinness Galway Hurdle (total prize fund of €220,000) with Majestic Concorde.
A five-year-old, Majestic Concorde indicated his current well-being by posting a fine stamina-laden performance to win a one mile six furlong flat race with Weld’s stable jockey Pat Smullen at Killarney earlier this month.
Majestic Concorde won two hurdles in ridiculously easy fashion at Punchestown and Navan last winter before finishing an honourable fourth in a Grade 2 two-mile novice hurdle at Leopardstown over the Christmas period. Majestic Concorde seems to be peaking at the real right time and he’s quite attractively weighted for Thursday’s race with 10-7.
Colm Murphy’s Megans Joy fits a similar profile to Majestic Concorde in that she was a novice over hurdles last term. She won three consecutive races over flights before her victorious streak came to an end when she finished fourth to Muirhead in the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse in December. She made a pleasing return to action by finishing fourth to Larkwing in the Grade 3 Kevin McManus Bookmaker Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary last Sunday. That run is bound to put her spot on for Ballybrit and she will be racing off an ideal racing weight of 10-9 on this occasion.
John Kiely’s seven-year-old King Rama will be running off 10 stone and, as the winner of his three most recent starts over hurdles, this ex-Ballydoyle inmate is another that has to have a serious chance if lining up. A similar remark can be applied to Charlie Swan’s Cloone Rocket.