Samcro tops a maximum field for the Galway Plate with Jordan Gainford booked

The mercurial Samcro tops the weights for the Tote Galway Plate on Wednesday as the two-time Cheltenham Festival winner heads a maximum field of 22 in the €250,000 event.

The promising 5lb claimer Jordan Gainford, who made a real name for himself at the Cheltenham Festival when guiding The Shunter to victory in the Paddy Power Plate, takes the rides on Samcro for the first time.

Samcro, a top-priced 20-1 chance, was last seen finishing a disappointing sixth at Listowel, but did return to winning ways at Killarney in May when digging deep to deny the smart Alelchi Inois.

Denise 'Sneezy' Foster, deputising at Cullentra House for the suspended Gordon Elliott, also runs the classy Battleoverdoyen with stable jockey Jack Kennedy on board.

The aforementioned The Shunter, available at 11-2, has topped the market since betting opened on the Galway Plate last week and is one of five JP McManus runners among the 22. He is also responsible for two of the three reserves.

You have to rewind all the way back to 2013 and Carlingford Lough for the last winning favourite in the Plate. He, of course, was ridden to victory by the winningmost rider of all time Sir Anthony McCoy.

One trainer, one jockey, one horse and one race to watch at Galway

Joseph O'Brien, who sent out Early Doors to land the spoils last year, has five of the 22 with perhaps the most interesting of the quintet being recent Wexford winner Top Moon.

Willie Mullins has not won the Plate since Blazing Tempo did the business in 2011 and has had three beaten favourites in the last four years. Last year's runner-up Royal Rendezvous appears to be his number one hope this time around with champion jockey Paul Townend in the saddle.

Easy Game, Brahma Bull, Annamix, Livelovelaugh and Koshari have all made the cut for the champion trainer as well.