Road To Riches has taken two Grade 1s since winning the Galway Plate
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos
By Tony O’Hehir 9:30AM 27 JUL 2016
ROAD TO RICHES is back at Galway today seeking a second theTote.com Galway Plate victory two years after trouncing his rivals by 11 lengths in the famous summer steeplechase.
That win gave trainer Noel Meade his first Plate win and added to the many big-race successes the trainer has enjoyed at the festival, stretching back to the early 1970s.
Since his Plate triumph the Gigginstown House Stud-owned nine-year-old has achieved plenty, winning two Grade 1 chases and finishing third in last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup and in the Ryanair Chase this year.
Road To Riches heads the weights on 11st 10lb, and only three winners of the race in the past 50 years have carried bigger burdens to victory.
Meade said: “I couldn’t be happier with him following his break. He’s in great form and has done plenty of schooling since he fell at Punchestown in April. But 11st 10lb is a lot of weight and he’ll have plenty to do giving weight away to some smart horses who’ve got in with low weights because of him running.”
Gigginstown run eight in the race, with Bryan Cooper opting for Road To Riches. Gordon Elliott, seeking a first win in the race, trains four of the Gigginstown team – Clarcam, Bright New Dawn, Lord Scoundrel and Killer Crow, while Mouse Morris, looking for a first victory in the event and who has strong family links with Galway, runs First Lieutenant and Ravished for the Michael and Eddie O’Leary operation, which is also represented by Devils Bride.
Dermot Weld has the best record of any trainer in today’s renewal. He has been successful on four occasions and is represented by Three Kingdoms, the mount of Brian Hughes.