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Galway Preview: Bayan the one to beat in feature contest

The progressive Bayan looks the answer to typically ultra-competitive renewal of the Galway Hurdle (4.55).

The Gordon Elliott trained five-year-old has won four of his nine starts over hurdles, showing improved form on each occasion.

The gelding put in a career-best pefomance in the last of those when a cracking third of 28 to Whisper in the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival, and now gets into this contest of just 3lb higher.

That makes Bayan look on a good mark given his upwardly mobile profile, and the son of Danehill Dancer comes into the contest in tip top shape having won recently on the level at Leopardstown.

The 2m trip and quick ground will certainly hold no fears, and with the Elliott team in good nick at present everything looks in place for a massive run.

In the 7f Listed fillies’ contest (3.40), Tested is a worthy favourite to provide trainer Dermot Weld with another winner at the meeting.

The daughter of Selkirk has won three of her four starts, with the sole defeat coming in the Irish 1,000 Guineas over a mile at the Curragh when finishing sixth of 11 to Marvellous.

The three-year-old had little difficulty beating Slipper Orchid by 1 3/4 lenhths in a Listed contest at Naas when last seen in action, and is officially rated 3lb and upwards clear of her rivals.

Tested is also unbeaten in three runs over this afternoon’s trip of 7f, and with further progress assured looks potentially a cut above her rivals.

Ridestan ran a cracker when second to McKinley in the festival curtain-raiser over hurdles on Monday and can go one better in the 1m 4f handicap (5.35) now returned to the level.

The Denis Hogan trained gelding is just 7lb higher than when beating Lilly The Lioness by 1/2 a length in an apprentice contest at Killarney on his penultimate outing, and the four-year-old’s current mark of 62 could well be on the lenient side given that was just his fourth start on the flat.

The son of Linngari also has the services of crack apprentice Conor Hoban in the saddle who is terrific value for his 3lb claim, and from a good draw in stall two Ridestan looks to have plenty in going for him in what looks a winnable contest.