Baltimore Rock ready to roll in Fairyhouse mission

Fri 13 Jan 2017

Baltimore Rock crosses the Irish Sea for the second time in his career for a tilt at the Bar One Racing Dan Moore Memorial Chase at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

Formerly a high-class hurdler for David Pipe, the eight-year-old joined Neil Mulholland at the start of last year and was not disgracing himself in the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival when he tipped up two fences from home.

He proved no match for the brilliant Arkle winner Douvan in the Ryanair Novice Chase at Punchestown, after which he was put away for the summer.

The Roger Brookhouse-owned gelding made his reappearance at Ludlow last month and while he was ultimately well beaten, his trainer feels that effort is best forgotten.

"He was running well at Ludlow when a horse fell in front of him and was running a nice race in the Arkle last season when he fell himself," said Mulholland.

"He's in good form and we've been very happy with his preparation.I'm hoping he'll go there and run a nice race."

Baltimore Rock is the only British-trained runner in a 14-strong field.

The weights are headed by Henry de Bromhead's veteran Days Hotel, who was a distant second to Douvan in the Hilly Way Chase at Cork last month.

Willie Mullins last claimed this 100,000-euro prize with Turban in 2014 and his only representative in this year's renewal is the JP McManus-owned Jarry D'Honneur.

The eight-year-old won comfortably on his final start of last season at Navan and while he was bitterly disappointing on his return to action over this course and distance, there was more encouragement in his latest performance at Leopardstown.

Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father, said: " He ran well for a long way in Leopardstown the last day, which was a big improvement on his first run of the season, and we're hoping there'll be a bit more improvement to come.

"He has plenty of weight and if he can pick up some prize-money we'll be happy."

The McManus silks are also carried by the Tom Taaffe-trained course and distance winner Peoples Park.

Denis Cullen is expecting a big run from Dysios, who was runner-up in the same Leopardstown contest in which Jarry D'Honneur finished fifth.

"He came out of his race over Christmas very well and we are looking forward to running him at the weekend," said Cullen.

"The ground was probably a shade quick for him in Leopardstown, but we've had a bit of rain since.He is in off a nice racing weight and we are hoping for a big run again."

Other contenders include Gordon Elliott's Leopardstown third Ball D'Arc, his stable companion Turn Over Sivola and Barry Murphy's consistent chaser Pairofbrowneyes.

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