Galmoy Hurdle Guide

1. Apple's Jade

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey - Davy Russell

The eight year old mare owes nothing to anyone for what she has done in her career landing 11 Grade One contests over hurdles including her return to form last time out when a dominant winner of the three mile Frank Ward Memorial Hurdle over the Christmas period.

She looks up against it again here though taking on her nemesis Benie Des Dieux who she has taken on numerous times in her career and never got the better of her.

The positive she takes into this contest ahead of the Mullins horse is that she is fit and has been frequently ran this season and if going from the front like last time out it will set up a great contest.

2. Benie Des Dieux

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Paul Townend

Benie Des Dieux has only suffered one defeat in her eight contests for the trainer since joining the yard from France and that came when crashing out at the last flight in last seasons Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham.

She makes her seasonal debut in this Grade Two contest and she is the star runner on show in a difficult field of runners that with most of them she has already has beat in the past and knowing how good she is first time out she should be a strong contender here.

She has only ran over three miles once and that came on her last outing when sent over to France in Grade One chase contest over fences and she stayed the trip stoutly that day to suggest she is the one to beat in this.

3. Death Duty

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey - Rachel Blackmore

Death Duty is very much a forgotten horse not being seen since falling in the Racing Post Novice Chase on Boxing Day in 2017 which seems a very long time ago.

Having over two years off the track makes him very vulnerable slotting back into this tough contest but before his fall was in superb condition landing a hat-trick.

This might be more of a prep run before the Cheltenham festival and it looks a very tough task to see him in the top two.

4. Killultagh Vic

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Danny Mullins

This race is very much dominated by Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott with the race for Irish Champion Trainer hotting up and this 11 year old for the Mullins Camp needs a career best to go close.

He has been very underwhelming in tough races this season but the last time he put in a career best performance was in this contest last year when a narrow third behind Presenting Percy.

5. Penhill

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Robbie Power

The final Mullins runner is Penhill who was been very below par this season on both his runs finishing last of six on his seasonal bow in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle and then doing slightly better to finish a long way third behind Apple's Jade at Leopardstown over Christmas.

The dual Grade One Cheltenham festival winner is known for staying three miles having won both the Albert Bartlett and Stayers Hurdle in his career and if finding that form can cause an upset.

6. Gardens Of Babylon

Trainer - Joseph O'Brien

Jockey - Mark Walsh

The penultimate runner of the contest needs a miracle to go close in this field, although being a smart youngster he looks slightly out of his depth against these opponents.

He is stepping up for his first crack at three miles having run over two for the majority of his hurdles career and although finishing second on his last two events this event looks a different kettle of fish.

7. Mary Frances

Trainer - Martin Hassett

Jockey - Sean Flanangan

The big 150/1 outsider in the field is this eight year old mare who has been decent in handicap events but when stepping up to a Grade Three last time out struggled.

Now being thrown into a Grade Two that has the talent of a black type event it would be the shock of the season to see her go anywhere near the the winners enclosure.