Wednesday 21 February 2018

Beau looks attractive option

Damien McElroy

Several previous course winners, headed by the versatile Beau Michael, return to Ballinrobe this evening for an interesting mixed session as the promoters continue to consider a plan to make the popular Mayo venue jumping-only in the future.

Whether the track executive would ultimately opt to follow the lead of Punchestown and Kilbeggan by concentrating solely on National Hunt fare is open to question, however.

Those who attended the Galway festival saw Beau Michael grind out a novice 'chase success to follow up his easier victory on the Flat at tonight's course and not too many punters will be inclined to oppose Barry Geraghty's mount in the featured FBD Hurdle.

Top weight Glenstal Abbey also brings recent successful form over fences to the table, albeit at a lower level in Tipperary, but former Cheltenham hero Nicanor has yet to recapture anything like his best form and Farringdon has been absent since the Punchestown festival.

Taken out of this conditions affair, veteran Diego Garcia from the Willie Mullins yard, which has won here in the past, will be attempting to give weight all round in the following Broderick's Electrical Handicap Hurdle after a comeback run on the level at Ballybrit. However, the 10-year-old could be vulnerable to a younger, more progressive rival and James Lambe's Yachvili, which got back in the winning groove over this route last month, fits that profile nicely and is preferred to continue the splendid strike-rate being enjoyed at present by claiming rider Eddie O'Connell.

Charlie Swan seems to hold the whip hand for the concluding Jennings Meats Maiden Hurdle, with convincing bumper winner here Jewel In The Sun (David Casey) probably having more scope for improvement than 102-rated stable companion Second Glance (Barry Geraghty).

Tom McCourt is another trainer with a decent Ballinrobe record and his Sligo hurdles heroine Fearnwood Girl, which is rated over 100 as a jumper, appeals greatly off a Flat mark of just 47 with Ben Curtis up in the opening Musical Society Handicap.

Irish Independent

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