The Galway Plate often throws up a very good winner and we could have seen yet another one this season with Clarcam for the Gordon Elliott yard. This was a great front-running performance from the eight-year-old, and after this big victory, he will have his sights raised going into the winter national hunt season. The official winning distance was six lengths, and it was a well-deserved victory for the horse.
Clarcam appears to be very versatile when it comes to trip, so it is hard to predict what he will be targeted at next season. This victory came over 2m5f, while his last victory came over 2m. However, we have also seen him run over 3m5f, in the Irish Grand National.
He has run twice over the Aintree Grand National fences during his career, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him campaigned with that race in mind this coming season.
He doesn’t stand out as being an ideal Grand National horse, but it is certainly a race that he could run in. His current chase mark is 147, and he will likely move into the 150s after his win at Galway, so he would certainly get into the National if that was his aim.
Rated just 136 over hurdles, this could be something that Gordon Elliott decides to exploit this coming season, in an attempt to protect Clarcam’s handicap mark before going for a big race.
If you plan to take advantage of ante-post odds, there are some horse racing betting strategies that you can use including looking for horses who win decent races in Ireland that push their handicap mark up and in contention for the next Grand National. Horses that fit this criteria, especially when they come from yards like Gordon Elliott’s, are good to consider well in advance of a big race.
Elsewhere in the Galway Plate, the run of Snow Falcon deserves a mention. He kept on really well to make ground up and finish 4th after a very quiet ride. This trip appears to be the shortest he needs, and he could be another to think about for the Grand National next season.
The best way to ride him is to switch him off out at the back of the field and let him slowly progress through when the race gets going. He would need a lot of luck to stay out of trouble if he did that in the National, but you could envisage him cutting his way through the pack and going past beaten horses towards the end of the race.
He is rated 148 over fences, which is lower than his hurdles mark and he continues to show that he is very well handicapped off this mark. Whether they target something early in the season or protect that mark for a race like the Grand National remains to be seen, but he looks likely to be able to step up and win a big race at some point in the future.
The Galway Plate is likely to be a very good piece of form, but behind the winner, it was Snow Falcon that really caught the eye. Watch out for both him and the winner coming back in the winter, they are going to be interesting horses to follow.