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Dublin: 17 °C Friday 20 September, 2019
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Weekend tips: Mr Everest can climb Galway hill in style

The action continues in Ballybrit today.

Bookmakers Pat ‘The Hat’ Desmond and Marcella O’Neill.
Bookmakers Pat ‘The Hat’ Desmond and Marcella O’Neill.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

TONY MARTIN AND John Breslin teamed up to win the Galway Hurdle on Thursday and they can secure their third winner of the week at Galway in the opening 2m maiden hurdle (2.00) with Mr Everest.

The imposing son of Cape Cross was runner-up in the exact same maiden hurdle last year, finding only Triplicate too good, and that form does not look too shabby now given Joseph O’Brien’s charge went on to finish second in a Grade 1 and is now rated 141.

We have only seen Mr Everest once over hurdles since then when he was a beaten odds-on favourite at Fairyhouse but that race was not run to suit.

He won the November Handicap at Naas off a mark of 82 and jumps well so, with Davy Russell booked, it will be bitterly disappointing if he does not belatedly open his account over hurdles here.

Willie Mullins has won the feature 2m7f handicap hurdle (2.30) four times in the last six years and he sends a quartet into battle this time around.

The pick of them could prove to be Eclat Des Mottes who is unexposed and caught the eye when third at Killarney last month, presumably a pipe-opener for this valuable contest.

He was very keen at Killarney, understandable given it was his first outing since January, but he was only beaten three lengths and that outings ought to have blown away the cobwebs.

Eclat Des Mottes comfortably disposed of Present In Court in a Downpatrick bumper last August and the runner-up is now rated 129 over hurdles. That makes his conqueror very attractive off a mark of 127.

Staying appears to be his strong suit and there is plenty of potential front-runners in the line-up so his stamina should come into play on the final circuit. I am convinced we have not seen the best of him yet.

It has not been the week Dermot Weld was hoping for but Maria Christina could console him by winning the 1m4f handicap (5.20).

Her eye-catching debut in a mile maiden at Leopardstown last October suggests her opening mark of 74 could be on the low side. Flowering Peach, who was a neck ahead of her there, is rated 88 now.

You could argue Maria Christina has been a bit disappointing since but she posted an RPR of 76 at Gowran Park in April and she has been crying out for a step up to a mile and a half.

She has been handed stall one for her handicap bow and Weld has decided to grace the occasion with cheekpieces. Ben Coen takes off a further 5lb and everything looks in place for a massive run.

Saturday’s selections

Mr Everest 
2.00 Galway 

Eclat Des Mottes 
2.30 Galway 

Maria Christina 
5.20 Galway 

- David Jennings; for more visit the Racing Post 

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