Ruby poised to deliver on Dawn Raider
Ruby Walsh has a ride for two Cheltenham-winning stables as racing returns to Ballinrobe this evening.
As well as partnering Timi Roli for boss Willie Mullins, the champion jockey teams up with Pat Kelly to steer Dawn Raider, which may prove the answer in the Spa At Breaffy Maiden Hurdle. The daughter of Mahler will appreciate the trip and, given that Fintara was a shade disappointing at Cork, Dawn Raider might take advantage.
Timi Roli's comparisons with Hurricane Fly extend little farther than having the same owner and trainer. Preference in the Healy Mac's At Breaffy Maiden Hurdle is for Coolmeen Hill. Fledgling trainer Ellmarie Holden has booked Davy Russell for the ride.
They have watered the County Mayo venue, after a dry spell, and the drying ground should be fine for Landsman, which is taken to score in the rated hurdle.
A winner on quick ground on the Flat for John Murtagh, Landsman has been gradually improving over hurdles for Tony Martin and he has a good opportunity here.
Course-and-trip winner Black Label has been in good form for Ado McGuinness on the level. He may take the first handicap hurdle, likely to be handy at a track that favours those who are.
Dusty Sheehy still has a handful of horses in Graiguenamanagh and Paul Townend remains loyal to Grey Mountain Mist, which must have every chance in the Events Arena At Breaffy Handicap Hurdle.
In the handicap chase, course regular Definite Earl is of note for David Broad, while Clonaglig House can double up for Tony Martin in the maiden. Noel Meade can keep his fine run going via Gleesons Tipp in the finale.
Meanwhile, there are doubts about what 2017 has in store for another Connacht track.
"Sligo carried out drainage works over the winter which has resulted in the cancellation and transfer of their first two fixtures," said Horse Racing Ireland CEO Brian Kavanagh.
"A Turf Club inspection of the track is due to take place shortly to determine the situation with regard to the remainder of their 2017 fixtures."
It appears possible now that no racing will take place at the popular venue this year.