Ballingarry attracts support

 

The Aidan O'Brien-trained outsider, Ballingarry, has emerged as an each-way gamble for Sunday's Budweiser Irish Derby.

The Curragh kicks off the classic weekend tonight but big race punters were in action yesterday, with Ballingarry backed from 40 to 1 down to 16 to 1.

"We have had a number of significant each-way bets on the horse," confirmed a Cashman's spokesman.

Aidan O'Brien tied up the remaining loose ends surrounding the three-strong back-up team to the hot favourite High Chaparral.

Seamus Heffernan will ride Ballingarry, who ran second in the Derby Italiano on his last start.

Colm O'Donoghue will be on board the Gallinule Stakes winner, Della Francesca, while Paul Scallan will take the ride on Sholokov.

The ground on the Derby track is forecast to be "good to yielding" and "yielding" on the straight course, where the featured Goffs Challenge will be run this evening.

There are five British-trained runners for the €130,000 race confined to yearlings sold at last October's Goffs sale.

Richard Hannon's speciality is the Tattersalls race later in the season but he sends the Brighton and Bath winner Hurricane Alan for this contest.

Along with the Windsor winner, Fine Frenzy, and John Murtagh's mount, La Campanella, he probably represents the best overseas hope.

Of the home team, Michael Kinane is a significant booking for the Naas scorer, Miss Emma, but that form was not franked by Encircle at Tipperary on Wednesday.

Kurbaan has a bit to find with Mejhar on his Leopardstown debut but looks a type to improve and could be the one to keep the pot at home.

Sights On Gold would prefer better ground but at least it won't be as bad as when he ran last in the Guineas here. The Dermot Weld runner brings a 101 rating to the Apprentice Derby party and that looks good enough.

Solid Gold was run out of first in the dying strides at Leopardstown on Wednesday but with Kevin Manning on board, and a furlong less to travel, he could go one better in the mile handicap.

Pat Smullen can get in the groove for his Derby ride on In Time's Eye by going close on both Luminous Beauty and Triple Try.

Luminous Beauty was a costly failure at Cork over two months ago when a well beaten favourite. However, the filly is clearly held in some regard at Rosewell House and it is worth a bet she can recover those losses now.

Michael Kinane is a significant booking for the Sadler's Wells newcomer, Helen Wells, especially the form being shown by the Michael Halford string. Helen Wells could be a bigger danger than Millstreet, who is John Murtagh's pick from the Oxx team.

The latest Ballydoyle two-year-old off the mark is the Sadler's Wells colt Brian Boru who almost certainly will start favourite for the opener. Of those with a run under their belts, the most eye-catching looks to be Akash who ran well on his debut at Leopardstown behind Hold That Tiger.

O'Brien and Kinane should know exactly where they stand with Akash and Brian Boru can be another for Ballydoyle.

Assigh Lady drops back a furlong from her last visit here but that should not present her with too much of a problem in the Conlan Handicap.

The Dessie McDonogh-trained filly has been raised 9lb for her two-and-a-half-length victory but she was impressive then and the penalty may stop her being the same now.

Monday's meeting at Sligo has been called off after an inspection yesterday found the track to be unraceable.