Galway Festival day five: Tandem and Russell a potent duo
Trainer Dermot Weld has had a very quiet Galway Festival by his standards, but Tandem and Show Court look to hold major claims of providing the Rosewell handler with a big handicap double on this evening’s card.
Tandem runs in the 2m handicap hurdle that opening’s proceedings on an ultra-competitive seven-race card (17.10) and looks on a handy mark.
A smart performer on the level, the gelding has had just five starts over the obstacles and has clearly been brought along steadily to land a big pot.
Tandem finished a good third on hurdling debut at the meeting 12 months ago before going on to score easily at Navan, and then found Grade 1 company too hot when fifth of seven to Nicholas Canyon at Fairyhouse.
The six-year-old then had his attentions switched to handicaps at the start of this season, and finished a highly promising third to Snake Eyes at Punchestown on his return to action.
Tandem then shaped better than the bare result last time out at Killarney when a not knocked about fourth after making a mistake at a crucial stage, and with those two runs under his belt should now be spot on to do himself justice.
A mark of 130 may well underestimate Tandem’s ability, and with Davey Russell in the saddle the son of Dansili looks primed to take all the beating.
Show Court runs in the 1m 4f handicap (18.50) and has been given a massive chance by the assessor.
The gelding ran a cracker in this contest 12 months ago when a 1 1/2 length runner-up to Artful Artist off a mark of 87, and now meets that rival on 8lb better terms.
Show Court went on to finish an excellent third of 17 in a competitive handicap at Leopardstown off 89 and is now able to race off just 85.
That is a career-low rating and gives the six-year-old a huge chance from a handicapping perspective of going on better than last year and landing the spoils.
17.10: Tandem (NAP)
17.45: Mr Michael
18.15: Never Complain
18.50: Show Court (NB)
20.00: Plain Talking
20.30: Dark Crusader