One True Love ready to shed bridesmaid tag at Ballinrobe
WHILE racegoers are scarcely heading to Ballinrobe to find their One True Love, the horse which carries that name should, at least, put them in a positive frame of mind for the rest of the evening.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained daughter of Duke Of Marmalade has been a perennial bridesmaid and proved a huge disappointment when finishing runner-up at Limerick last time out, but the fitting of a hood and a step-up to nine furlongs could be the answer to this filly breaking her duck.
Pastiches finished a couple of lengths behind One True Love at Navan earlier this month, but Michael Halford's charge has plenty of scope for improvement and could prove a bigger danger to Joseph O'Brien's mount than Dermot Weld's Late Rosebud.
O'Brien Jnr has decent prospects of completing a double aboard Daigreen in the following Eamon Sheridan Plant Hire Handicap.
Joanna Morgan's four-year-old won over course and distance last season, and should attract plenty of market support, but marginal preference is given to Daliyan.
While Rodger Sweeney's progressive four-year-old won on soft ground at Limerick, he should have no problem coping with the drier conditions being a son of Red Ransom.
Air Chief was a narrow winner on his seasonal debut at Roscommon a fortnight ago and, having gone up 4lb, the eight-year-old will do well to defy top-weight in an open-looking Audi Ballina Handicap.
O'Brien is a notable booking for Eoin Doyle aboard Crouching Harry in this contest and, in the circumstances, Arthur Moore's Positive Vibes looks a more reliable option in a race where stakes should be kept to a minimum.
The most valuable event of the night is the John Madden & Sons Handicap Hurdle and Kims Dream will be expected to continue her good form in the two-mile event.
The six-year-old was narrowly denied back-to-back victories at Downpatrick earlier this month and if she continues to improve, the daughter of Antonius Pius can see off the lightly raced Toretto and Vinnies Friend, which has been running over fences.
Having run a respectable third in a decent maiden hurdle at this venue last month, Baby Grey might go two places better in the Purcell Construction Maiden Hurdle despite the obvious claims of smart Flat recruit Ebazan.
The second division of the Opportunity Handicap Hurdle doesn't exactly offer banker material for punters, but top-weight Friendly Society, Tramore winner Revolutionary Road and Pumped Up Kicks are all worthy of closer inspection, with the vote going to the latter which has the considerable assistance of Keith Donoghue.