The Galway Hurdle is one of the most prestigious National Hunt races in the calendar, and it’s raced on the fourth day of the Galway Festival. First run in 1913, it has a rich history and these days, it is raced over a distance of approximately two miles and open to horses aged four years and older.
The 2021 edition of the Galway summer festival kicks off later this month, and after last year’s meeting was held behind closed doors, fans – albeit, in smaller numbers than usual – are able to return to Ballybrit to revel in the excitement the event brings.
While you take a look at the latest Galway Races betting odds, we’ll take recap the action of the last three years – and look ahead to this year’s race.
Two years previous to their success, once again the Mullins family won the Galway Hurdle. Overcoming the hefty weight burden of 11 stone 7 pound that was thrust upon him, Sharjah made his handicap debut – and did not disappoint. Travelling well throughout, it wasn’t until the final flight that Sharjah drew level with Blazer – also a 12/1 punt – before quickening to record a three length victory over his rival. It may have been a debut win for an ecstatic Mullins Jnr, but for his father, it marked a third victory to become the race’s leading trainer.
2019: Tudor City
There was a thrilling finish in front of a bumper crowd as Robbie Power rode Tudor City to a last-gasp victory. Sent out as a 10/1 shot, he was one of two entries from the yard of Tony Martin. Coming from mid-division, the jockey powered through the field, between contenders Due Reward and Band Of Outlaws – finishing half a length clear of the former. It landed Power his second victory in the Galway Hurdle – his first coming in 2013 on board Missunited.
The 7/1 chance defied the odds and the weight handicap, landing the father-son trainer-jockey team of Willie and Patrick Mullins their second success in the race for three years. The 40/1 outsider Hearts Are Trumps put up a strong challenge, but it wasn’t enough, as Aramon picked up pace, and won by two and a quarter lengths. Meanwhile, favourite Felix Desjy, trained by Gordon Elliott fell at the second fence. A second victory for Mullins Jnr ensured he made the record books as one of four jockeys with two wins in the race.
Here’s an interesting stat – 16 of the last 18 winners of the Galway Hurdle finished in the top three on their previous outing. Some food for thought before you place your Galway Hurdle predictions.
If you want to look at trainers, while three of the last 18 winners were trained by Mullins, he has three victories in the last six renewals, and is also the leading trainer – so don’t bet against him. But also, be sure to back an Irish trainer – 17 of the last 18 winners were based on the emerald isle, and additionally, 14 of the 18 were Irish-bred horses.