Yesterday saw over 20,000 people flock to the Galway Races for the opening day of action, and Jody Townend was the star of the show.
The 21-year-old Cork amateur broke vertebrae in her back last year and had to have metal inserted as part of her recovery.
She then developed an infection, so there must have been many dark days. That she rode 'Great White Shark' to win the amateur derby is a testament to her perseverance and support network.
One of the big lessons for any punter at Galway is to follow the money.
'Great White Shark' was available at 25/1 at one stage before being backed down to 8/1 at the off. If there is stable confidence behind a Ballybrit runner, pay heed.
Today's feature race is the Colm Quinn BMW Handicap at 7.40.
I am recommending the Dermot Weld trained 'Jassaar' at a price of 4/1 in this one. This four-year-old won a valuable handicap at the Curragh and had an entry at Royal Ascot. I believe his class may tell here.
There is a seven-furlong fillies maiden at 6.25 and I like the claims of 'Too Soon To Panic' for trainer Fozzy Stack at odds of 100/30.
She was a good third to subsequent winners at Leopardstown when not getting the run of the race. With improvement likely on her second run, she could be hard to pin back.
In the seven-furlong maiden at 7.05, 'Rita Levy' might be worth a speculative each-way punt.
She has been a disappointing horse to follow, but nearly broke her duck at Fairyhouse from a bad draw last time out and 9/1 is a reasonable price.
And my NAP selection comes in the 8.10, with 'Danis Boy', in a one-mile handicap each way at 12/1. Rachael Blackmore is an eye-catching booking for a course and distance winner.
So I recommend a virtual €10 on the following:
6.25: €2 win on Too Soon To Panic at 100/30
7:05: €1 each way on Rita Levy at 9/1
(1/5 the odds the first three places)
7.40: €2 win on Jassaar at 4/1
8.10: €2 each way on Danis Boy at 12/1
(1/4 the odds the first four places)
Please gamble responsibly at Galway and good luck!