Galway Festival 2010: Some Helpful Trends

Today sees the start of a marathon, dear reader: a marathon of betting, a marathon of races, and a marathon of socializing and drinking for those there present. Today is the start of a full week of craic from Ireland's most popular race meeting, the Galway Festival.

It runs from this evening until next Sunday 1st August, and features over forty races. The Galway Festival is truly a meeting for the battle hardened!

Now, here's the rub. Unlike other shorter Festival meetings, it is very difficult for Galway to sustain quality through forty-plus contests. And they know this, and don't try to hide it. Instead, the aim at Galway is to provide competitive racing at various stages on the quality scale.

And this has helped me and my man, Tony Mac, to pull together a report that highlights the core profiles of twelve races across the seven days. There is too much chaff in amongst those golden ears of wheat to look at every event so we decided to look at - generally speaking - two races per day.

Get the trends Lite report, and all the info here.

If you've ever seen a trends report, you'll be familiar with the format, and if you saw the Irish Oaks meeting report we produced, you'll know exactly the format. We've broken races down into primary and secondary trends.

By so doing, we're able to look at what we consider to be the most material historical pointers and draw up a shortlist for each race. That shortlist might have as few as a single runner on it, or it might have five or six.

We then apply the secondary trends to try to condense the shortlist to one or two horses. In applying this approach to the Irish Oaks meeting, 9/1 winner Latin Love was singled out as the sole horse on the shortlist, and cruised home. We also highlighted the chances of Air Chief Marshal (5/1) and Snow Fairy (7/2) in our shortlists.

The Galway Festival 2010 Trends report is available as an instant download, and costs €9.95 (about £8.33 in Her Majesty's currency). As well as the report, you'll also get daily updates on the special members' page, and a free bonus report.

The bonus report is worth the subscription on its own, featuring as it does a series of trainers whose favourites you'd typically do well to oppose. It's been put together by one of my business students, William O'Brien, and if you're of a laying disposition, this will be a very useful weapon over the next seven days.

If you'd like to know more, please click on over to here, where you'll be able to download a free 'Lite' version of the trends guide, and to sign up for the full week's information should you so wish.

I'm quietly confident that we've got the winner in our first race tonight. It's an 18 runner novice hurdle, so anything more than quiet confidence or cautious optimism would be careless. But, nevertheless, I'm hoping for that race to springboard our profits at the meeting.


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Now then, let's take a quick look back at the weekend. The clear highlight - and indeed one of the highlights of the season - was the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, a Group 1 over a mile and a half.

The race featured the seven length winner of the English Derby, Workforce; the winner of the Irish Derby, Cape Blanco; three times (!) Arc second, Youmzain; Hong Kong Vase winner, Daryakana; and, rapidly improving Harbinger.

The market was all about Sir Michael Stoute, with his Derby winner put in the 8/11 favourite, and Harbinger clear second best at 4/1. I have to admit that I considered Workforce way too short in a top class field like this, and laid him to win a hundred quid. I also had a score on Cape Blanco to win.

History shows that Workforce did not win, so I collected my lay bet. Nor did Cape Blanco, so I lost that win bet. Both of these factoids are utterly irrelevant when put in the context of the actual winner, Harbinger, who was one of the most impressive winners I've seen. Ever.

I'm talking about a performance that puts Harbinger's ELEVEN length triumph - in a new course record - in the same bracket as Dubai Milennium's eight length victory in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2000. Or that of Arazi when he took off in the Breeders Cup Juvenile in 1991 from stall 14 in the car park!

If you're not sure what I'm talking about, check out these videos...

Harbinger wins the King George

Dubai Milennium

Arazi (from last to first - wow!)


Harbinger is now a best priced 15/8 to win the Arc in October and, frankly, who's going to beat him? The only horse that has a chance in my opinion is the Frenchie, Bekhabad, who is a serious racehorse.

Forget Fame and Glory. And 8/1 Workforce (Stan James)? Don't make me laugh! He might never win another race, and he certainly won't win the Arc. You heard it here first. (Or second, or third... whatever 😉


I can't promise anything as spectacular as that at Galway this week, but we'll be looking to bag a few winners from our selected dozen races. If you want to join us, you can register here.

The best of luck!


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6 replies
  1. ian synnott says:

    Sensational performance. Nothing will beat him in any race he contests on this evidence. Shoe-in for the Arc in my opinion!!

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      I’ve backed him at 2/1, though not for a great deal, and have also backed Bekhabad at 10’s. It’ll take something impressive to beat that duo in my opinion. Dar Re Mi may still be a very decent each way bet, despite being a girl.


  2. roddo says:

    No doubt he was impressive,but the Arc is along way off and usually run on ground with plenty of give.Dont be rushing in to take 7/4.

  3. Francis says:

    Certainly Harbinger was an impressive winner and the time also.
    I agree with Roddo the Arc is many weeks ahead and would not bet on him @7/4,Sir Michael did not seem to be that keen when “Arc” was mentioned. Harbinger will have had a long season
    come October,Rheingold won both John Porter and “Arc”,Salvo was just beaten in both-so it can be done. I personally dont think
    the field he beat was anything;Cape Blanco was well beaten in French Derby,Workforce was running RH,at Epsom both Jan vermeer & Midas touch sweated before the race,the other O’Brien horse &pacemaker beaten 7L was well beaten in King Edward at Royal Ascot. Both the KG&QE & Epsom Derby were run in Record times and this has in my opinion “Hyped Up” the form of both races, this summer has been very dry and Epsom did not water and the last 4 races(incl.Derby) were ALL run in better than RP
    standard. Ascot only 1 other race apart from Harbinger was run in
    better than standard,this seems to indicate exceptional performance. I think Harbinger has been improving all season and he is a really good horse but not a great one. Pace makes the race and Confront set a strong even gallop that set the race up for Harbinger. IF he does make it for the “Arc” he will be a strong fancy,but lots of races before then,The French Arc trials,
    Irish Champion stakes is Fame &Glory’s aim and has provided the Arc winner several times, the “Abbey” will also be coming back after his guineas flop,should be an interesting Autumn!!
    best wishes,

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Great post Francis – lots to chew on there!

      Regarding Harbinger and the Arc, if they ran it next week (or the week after), who would you prefer in the race? That being the case, nearly 2/1 against seems reasonable.
      It’s certainly true that a number of horses ‘could’ emerge as contenders. But there are very few with bombproof credentials.

      Harbinger and Bekhabad stand out a mile on that score. Fame and Glory won’t win the Arc, and Workforce won a moderate Derby in exceptional style. Eight of the last sixteen Derby winners failed to win another Group race…

      With what we know, it’s hard to bet against the Harb / Bekh axis.


  4. Francis says:

    IF the race was run in the next couple of weeks both horses would be shorter prices. The Bookies have factored in the many
    weeks till October. Run soon I would say Harbinger would win as
    he is at his peak, Arc day Bek as he can still improve.
    If you bet 2 horses in a race save on the shorter priced and go for the big win on the longer priced. I knew a Pro-punter 30+ years ago,and he used to bet in races that looked a “Match” and the favourite was 2/1 or better he would “Save” on it and bet the other for a big win.
    I agree this years Derby was moderate, Sir Michael will have a
    puzzle over Workforce. The ground is no excuse,I think he would be better running left-handed and he is with a great trainer.
    Fame and Glory is a proven group 1 horse,so his run in the Irish Champion will tell us if he has a “Shout”.
    best wishes

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