Pat Smullen set for some top quality rides at York’s Ebor festival

Irish jockey also in action at Tipperary on Tuesday

Pat Smullen is set for a busy week at York's Ebor festival but prior to that Ireland's champion jockey can keep the home fires burning on board Almanaara at Tipperary on Tuesday.

Dermot Weld’s runner is one of just two rides on the mixed card for Smullen and with first-time headgear should prove tough to beat in an ordinary looking seven furlong maiden.

There’s nothing ordinary though about the prospect of teaming up with the hugely exciting juvenile star Fair Eva in Thursday’s Group Two Lowther Stakes at York.

After two hugely impressive victories under Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori, which have catapulted Fair Eva to the top of next year's 1,000 Guineas betting, Smullen has been pencilled in for the ride on the daughter of Frankel this week.


Fair Eva is already as low as 4-7 to stretch her unbeaten record to three later this week.

The Irishman’s links with the powerful Juddmonte operation also mean he will be on board Exosphere in Wednesday’s Group One feature.

Ruby Walsh will also be on duty with two rides at Tipperary, including teaming up with his former colleague, Conor O'Dwyer, for the Gowran winner El Vasoo in the first of the handicap hurdles.

Walsh has a good record when teaming up with trainer Eric McNamara and Joy Neville will be fancied to go close under the champion jumps rider in the second handicap. However blinkers appeared to have a positive impact on Aurora's Dream at Downpatrick last week and they're on again here.

Co Cork trainer Paddy Twomey has made an impact with his juveniles already this summer and Member State can prove a formidable opponent in the opening juvenile claimer based on a promising Galway debut behind right Honourable.

In other York news Ivan Grozny was cut to 6-1 favourite in some ante-post lists to give Willie Mullins a second victory in Saturday's Ebor. Ireland's champion jumps trainer landed the prestigious handicap in 2009 with Sesenta.

The Tony Martin pair, Quick Jack and Heartbreak City, are also in contention for an Ebor spot in a field which has a maximum capacity of 20 runners.

The weights are headed by Richard Fahey’s Suegioo, just ahead of Roger Varian’s Battersea and Kinema from Ralph Beckett’s yard.

Aidan O’Brien could rely on Intelligence Cross in the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes on Saturday.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column