Condon making most of Carberry's absence
DAVY CONDON can continue to capitalise on Paul Carberry's ongoing absence by steering Shadow Catcher to victory for Gordon Elliott at Down Royal this evening.
Carberry has not ridden since the end of April in an effort to get a troublesome shoulder back to full strength. It is an old injury that the gifted 39-year-old aggravated in a fall at Cheltenham in March, which subsequently caused him to miss day two of the Festival before he went on to steer Solwhit to glory in the World Hurdle.
The dual champion jockey rode on through the discomfort until the season's end, but hasn't been seen on competitive duty since his exquisite Ballinrobe treble on April 30.
"I just wanted to give the shoulder a bit of time," he said. "I got an injection in it and there is not a whole lot more I can do with it now. Hopefully, I will be back in time for Bellewstown at the start of July."
As ever, Condon has deputised with aplomb on the respective strings of Noel Meade and Gordon Elliott, and Shadow Catcher is fancied to run a big race in the Gibson Hotel Hurdle.
Fourth in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham in March and third in a similar conditions race at Cork in May, he gets the nod over Domination here.
Condon (right) might also take the opening www.tote.com Mares' Hurdle on Honey Bach for local handler Brian Hamilton. Curvacious, Sitcom, Tasitiocht and Twin Plan all add depth to this, but the drop back to two miles ought to suit Honey Bach, after she got chinned on the line by Dysart Dancer over half a mile further at Kilbeggan last time.
Tony Martin's Nearest The Pin might finally break his duck over fences in the Dark Horse Cafe & Wine Bar Beginners' Chase, with Old Pride the nap selection under Barry Geraghty in the maiden hurdle.
Tom Taaffe's charge raced too keenly on his return from a break before just getting caught here in May, so he should run less freely in a first-time hood now that he has got that out of his system.
On the Flat at Limerick, Wayne Lordan has a cracking book of rides, the pick of which might be Goddess Of Love in the mile-and-three-furlong maiden. David Wachman's filly caught the eye when flashing home for second on her Roscommon debut over an inadequate seven furlongs, so this step up in trip looks appropriate.