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Gales thwarted by firm ground.

MERRY Gale and Siberian Gale both miss today's Compaq Galway Plate because of the fast ground.

Herb Stanley, Merry Gale's owner, had been keen to run his veteran stayer and then consider retiring the 11-year-old after the race.

Explaining Merry Gale's absence, trainer Jim Dreaper's wife, Patricia, said yesterday: "Whereas he acted on very good ground in the past, Jim thinks he really needs a bit of cut at this stage of his career and the owner agreed.

"The horse isn't being retired just yet, and when we get a bit of an ease we will find another race for him."

Paddy Mullins, trainer of Siberian Gale, who had been one of the leading fancies for the race, said yesterday: "The ground was getting quite lively on Monday night when I checked it out, and with more sunshine today it is going to be very fast for the Plate.

"There's no way I would risk Siberian Gale on it."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 28, 1999
Words:159
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