A few of these have been struggling for form recently but Mahrajaan has discovered a new lease of life, though has a lot to find in this company from out of the handicap. Macnicholson has to go on the short-list as he'll be all the better for a recent comeback on the Flat and won a competitive handicap at the Punchestown Festival in the spring. But the Guinness Handicap at Galway could hold the key to this. Maxim Gorky took the honours that day but XSQUARED wasn't far behind and is the pick of the weights today. Redera was fourth in that race and has each-way claims again while Queen Alphabet ran well behind Shield at Galway and makes her handicap debut. The Game Changer also caught the eye at the Festival and will be winning sooner rather than later.
The Game Changer (IRE) 12-1 (10-0) Held up towards rear, good progress approaching 2 out, ridden and went 3rd last, no impression and kept on one pace run-in, 3rd of 20, 3 1/2l behind Thomas Edison (10-6) at Galway 2m hcp hdl gd in Jul.
Macnicholson (IRE) 10-1fav (11-11) Soon mid-division, closed to chase leaders when mistake 3 out, moderate 3rd approaching straight, chased leader in moderate 2nd from before last, stayed on well run-in to lead near line, won at Punchestown 2m hcp hdl 88-123 in May beating Pivot Bridge (10-3) by 1/2l, 25 ran.
Xsquared (IRE) 14-1 (11-6) Held up towards rear, slight mistake 5th, progress into 7th after 3 out, ridden in 6th 2 out, stayed on into 2nd entering straight, 3rd run-in and kept on closing stages, 3rd of 12, 3/4l behind Maxim Gorky (11-1) at Galway 2m hcp hdl gd.
Redera (IRE) 5-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear early, mid-division halfway, progress into 5th before 2 out, ridden after 2 out, no impression before last, kept on one pace, 4th of 12, 6l behind Maxim Gorky (11-1) at Galway 2m hcp hdl gd.
Maxim Gorky (IRE) 12-1 (11-1) Mid-division early, towards rear halfway, progress into 7th 2 out, travelled well in 6th entering straight, improved into 3rd last, ridden run-in, kept on well to lead close home, won at Galway 2m hcp hdl gd beating Orgilgo Bay (10-11) by 1/2l, 12 ran.
Run With The Wind (IRE) 16-1 (11-2) Mid-division, 10th 2 out, no impression and mistake last, kept on one pace, 8th of 14, 16l behind Prince Rudi (11-1) at Galway 2m 6f hcap hdle Grd C.
Passage Vendome (FR) 20-1 (11-4) Mid-division, ridden and no extra before 2 out, weakened, 11th of 12, well behind Maxim Gorky (11-1) at Galway 2m hcp hdl gd.
Queen Alphabet (IRE) 9-2 (11-5) Tracked leaders, 4th 3 out, improved to lead approaching last, ridden run-in, headed inside final furlong, kept on same pace close home, 2nd of 7, 1l behind Shield (11-12) at Galway 2m nh nov hdl gd in Jul.
Bridgequarter Girl (IRE) 9-1 (11-5) Held up towards rear, progress into 7th 3 out, ridden into 4th after 2 out, no impression in 3rd before straight, kept on same pace, lost 3rd close home, 4th of 13, 14l behind Fethard Player (11-0) at Ballinrobe 2m 4f cond hcp hdl gd in Jun.
Grey Monk (IRE) 16-1 (11-7) Disputed early, soon chased leader, 4th halfway, ridden and no extra before 2 out, pulled up before last, in a race won by Greatness (9-7) at Galway 2m 4f hcp hdl 8Evens23 gd in Jul, 20 ran.
Roman General (IRE) 10-1 (11-4) Mid-division, ridden into 3rd before 3 out, disputed before 2 out where fell, in a race won by Quarton (10-11) at Bellewstown 2m 4f hcp hdl 8Evens23 gf in Jul, 9 ran.
Hurricane Jojo (IRE) 16-1 (11-12) Towards rear, 11th 4 out, soon ridden, went 5th at last, no extra run-in, 6th of 12, 6l behind Hell Cat Maggie (11-10) at Roscommon 2m 4f mares hcp hdl 80-109 gf.
Sir Harry Cash 16-1 (11-8) Towards rear, closer in 10th before straight, soon no impression, kept on same pace, 7th of 18, 13l behind In A Nutshell (11-4) at Limerick 2m 5f hcp hdl 80-116 gf in Jul.
Mahrajaan (USA) 10-1 (10-12) Towards rear, closed to chase leaders 4 out, 5th before straight, 4th 2 out, soon no impression, moderate 3rd at last, kept on same pace run-in, 3rd of 9, 12l behind Wisty (9-3) at Cork 2m hcp hdl 8Evens23 gd.
Nurse Ryan (IRE) 20-1 (9-10) Always towards rear, slight mistake 3rd, no impression from 3 out, never a factor, 8th of 12, 9l behind Golden Ticket (9-12) at Killarney 2m 1f hcp hdl gd in Jul.