O'Donoghue aims to enjoy Seventh Heaven at Epsom
A year after Qualify swooped to thwart Legatissimo in the Oaks to give Colm O'Donoghue his fourth Classic victory, things are a bit more balanced in the career of the Buttevant, Co Cork native.
When Qualify caused that 50/1 upset at Epsom last term, O'Donoghue had ridden just one domestic winner. Despite that vintage moment, he finished up with eight Irish winners, a paltry return for a rider of his calibre.
This time, he has already booted home nine winners, eight of which have been for Jessica Harrington and the other for Qualify's trainer and his long-standing boss, Aidan O'Brien.
Tomorrow, O'Donoghue and O'Brien combine again in the Oaks for the Lingfield winner Seventh Heaven. Ryan Moore is aboard the hot favourite Minding, with Seamie Heffernan on Somehow, while Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning combine for the Guineas sixth, Turret Rocks. It is a strong raiding party, and the prospect of Group One glory is never far away for anyone riding for Ballydoyle.
Still, O'Donoghue's fledgling link with Harrington, which came about as a result of Fran Berry's move to England, has the potential to prove hugely beneficial for both parties.
At Fairyhouse tonight, they have a few decent chances together, maybe none more so than Palavicini Run in the opening claimer. Rated 75, the Wexford runner-up looks to be thrown in at the weights, so she is napped to get off the mark at the sixth attempt.
In the six-furlong conditions race, Mick Halford's Golden Pearl is one to watch for the future, but preference is for Kevin Prendergast's Munshid. Chris Hayes' mount has won two of its last three and looks well in.
Johnny Murtagh's Pacodali should also take plenty beating under Connor King in the seven-furlong maiden, having been a fine fourth to Awtaad last time.