Cooper out to make up for lost time at Galway.
Byline: David Jennings
THE Galway summer festival was officially launched at the Radisson Hotel in the city last night when the newly commissioned sterling silver Galway Plate was unveiled, with jockey Bryan Cooper gunning to get his hands on it.
Cooper was forced to watch Road To Riches land the prestigious prize 12 months ago while he was nursing a broken leg and also missed the festival in 2013 through injury, so he is hoping to make up for lost time this year.
"It'll be my first time riding there since 2012 as I missed the last two years through injury," Cooper said. "It was tough last year and to see Road To Riches winning the Galway Plate in the Gigginstown [House Stud] colours was fairly annoying.
"There were one or two other winners I missed out on during the week, but that's racing and you have to take the rough with the smooth."
Cooper could have the choice of five or six in the Galway Plate this time around as Gigginstown look sure to have another strong hand in their attempt to follow up their success in the race 12 months ago.
Cooper added: "It's early days yet and I'm not sure what will definitely run, but I think Gigginstown will have five or six in it. You've got the likes of Ravished who won well at Killarney and looks the ideal type for it and there is also Rathlin and Horrendous Hulabaloo, who might head there as well.
"It will hopefully be a very busy week for me as, not only will I be riding for Gigginstown, but I should have a few rides for Gordon Elliott as well - his horses are in unbelievable form.
"There is such a buzz around Galway all week and to ride a winner there is a brilliant feeling. I can't wait for the week to kick off. I just hope I get there in one piece."
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Outgoing Galway manager John Moloney (far left) with his replacement and son Michael at the launch of this year's festival; Bryan Cooper shows off the new Plate trophy with model Katie Brill