Galway Hurdle Tips: Willie Mullins to strike gold in Thursday showpiece

Willie Mullins tipped to saddle the winner of the Galway Hurdle
Willie Mullins tipped to saddle the winner of the Galway Hurdle

We are set for a hugely competitive renewal of the Galway Hurdle on day four of the Galway Festival, and you can check out our big-race tip here...

One of the flagship races of the entire week, the Galway Hurdle has long been a real punting head-scratcher and the 2021 renewal is no different with a stellar field heading to the 2m 11y start for what looks another devilishly difficult handicap event to work out.

Hugely impressive County Hurdle winner Belfast Banter will be attempting to emulate that fabulous Cheltenham Festival success on Thursday, but Kevin Fahey's star will face a much tougher assignment, as he lines up off a 15lb higher mark than his County winning mark, and 144 could just be beyond him. He built on his Prestbury Park success by landing a win in the Grade 1 Top Novices' Hurdle at Aintree's Grand National meeting, but that has caused his mark to rise further, and he will now have to come on significantly to land this prize.

There's no doubting Belfast Banter has to be respected, but it could the horse challenging him for favouritism that could prove to be a more notable contender, and off a featherweight Winner Takes Itall looks interesting. Joseph O'Brien's six-year-old son of Nathaniel has snuck in at the bottom of the weights after he recorded a comfortable win at Bellewstown earlier this month. Easing to a four-and-a-quarter length success that day, the JP McManus-owned raider shaped like he could be significantly ahead of the handicapper, and he is a fascinating runner.

This test will be a whole new experience for him, but having shown signs that he could be on the sharp upgrade then he is entitled to be a key figure at the head of the betting, and has to be on punter's shortlist.

BLACK FRIDAY OFFER Bet £10 On Any First Race & Get 7 x £5 FREE Bets BLACK FRIDAY OFFER

#Ad. 18+ Playsafe. Promo code RACE35. New customers only • £10 deposit using promo code • Minimum stake £10 at odds of 1/2 (1.5) • Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free bet stakes not included in returns • Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. withdrawal restrictions & Full T&C’s apply

Willie Mullins will saddle a three-pronged attack and the Closutton trio will be spearheaded by the top-weighted Saldier, who has competed in some red-hot races in recent times, and was a creditable seventh behind star mare Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. However, he has been seen on the Flat in his last two races and having bagged a win at Listowel on the level he then went on to Royal Ascot, but could only finish mid-division in the Copper Horse Stakes.

While there's no doubting he's the class act in the race, the seven-year-old may just find this contest beyond his reach, as he has to give significant weight away to all his rivals, and he could be pipped by a more attractively handicapped adversary. One runner that fits that bracket is his stablemate CIEL DE NEIGE, who has run some fine races in competitive handicap hurdles, and he could well run a stormer once again.

Runner-up in the 2020 Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, the seven-year-old took on Belfast Banter in the County Hurdle, but could only finish ninth, but with that rival rocketing up the handicap then Ciel De Neige will be much better off at the weights on Thursday. He showed he was in fabulous form last time out when just being edged out by Koshari in a 2m 4f event at the Punchestown Festival, and while he's been upped in the handicap for that fine run, he should enjoy the drop back to two miles, and he can be the jewel in the Mullins' crown, and can at least make the frame.

Cape Gentleman is another that has been switching between the Jumps and Flat, and the Grade 2 Dovecote Novices' Hurdle winner was a warm order for the Ascot Stakes at the Royal meeting, but could only finish fifth. That wasn't an awful run, and he could be one that enjoys a return to the jumping sphere, and a mark of 140 looks workable. He featured in the same Punchestown race as the aforementioned Ciel De Neige did, but could only finish ninth, but he does line up off the same mark on Thursday, so should get closer to Ciel De Neige. However, he still may not have enough to reverse that form, and is one that can be avoided.

Magic Tricks catches the eye in the lower echelons of the handicap, as the Denise Foster-trained star ran a decent race in a tough handicap at Fairyhouse in April, and having had a spin on the Flat to get him right for this then he has to be considered, while others at the bottom of the weights include Noel Meade's Jesse Evans, who was victorious in his last spin over timber and Eclair De Beaufeu, who was a decent fourth in the County Hurdle.

But, it's Willie Mullins that is the man to follow here, and having won three of the last five renewals, the master of Co. Carlow can claim the gold medal once again with Ciel De Neige, who looks the one to beat in a hugely exciting contest.

Thursday 29th July - Galway Hurdle
Ciel De Neige silk

Ciel De Neige (EW)

Today's Horse Racing Naps
Advert Disclaimer is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.

Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus

#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+
Bet £10 Get £40 in Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using promo code M40 only. 1x per customer. Min £/€10 bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Free bets of 2 x £/€15 issued after first qualifying bet settles. Max £/€10 Bonus. 35x wagering requirement. Max redeemable bonus: £25. Casino bonus expires after 72 hours. UK & Eire only. Additional T&Cs, including free-bet, game, location, payment method and stake contributions apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code ‘100BET365’ can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. 18+
Money Back As CASH Up To £20 (APP Only)
#AD New customers only. Deposit £20 using card or Trustly. Up to your first £20 of losses will be refunded as CASH within 24 hours of qualifying bet having been settled. T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £40 In Bonuses
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in and place a £10 bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00+ within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00+. Plus, a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Bet £10 Get £30 + 30 Free Spins
#AD New UK & NI customers only. Promo code SPORTS60. Deposit and place first sports bet of £10+ in one transaction, at odds of Evens (2.0)+, settled within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS validation may be required. Max 30 Free Spins on Blue Wizard at £0.10 per spin. 7-day expiry. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get It Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Football market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Get Up To £100 In Free Bets
#AD New customer offer. Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD. New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. 18+
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD Min stake £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). First bet only. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. Online UK customers only. 30 days to qualify for £20 in Free Bets. 18+. T&Cs apply
£25 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £25 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins on Asgard Warriors. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only |
£10 Welcome Offer
#AD UK & ROI customers only. 18+. Place your first bet on sports pools and if it loses we’ll refund your stake in cash. Max refund is £10. Qualifying bet is the first sports pool bet added to the betslip. Ten to Follow bets do not qualify. Totewin will be the qualifying bet when a Totewin and a Toteplace bet are struck at the same time. T&Cs apply
Today's Most tipped
Add All Tips To Betslip
Latest racing results
1st Royal Romeo
1st Kilbunny Pontic
3rd Sa Fureur
1st Gua Du Large
2nd Glan
3rd Magic Tricks
1st Made For You
2nd Tinnahalla
3rd Begin The Luck
View All Today's Results