The Price Is Right: Royal can be king at Ballinrobe on Monday

Mon 20 Jul 2020

The Tote's Kevin O'Malley tipped a 9-1 winner on Sunday and has takem aim at the racing action at Ballinrobe on Monday where he has three selections at juicy odds.

By Kevin O'Malley

Following a 9-1 winner on Sunday, I return on Monday with a trio of horses to look out for at Ballinrobe this evening. Fingers crossed for a little more luck to kick off the week!

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4.45 Ballinrobe: MERE CATHERINE

Paddy Twomey’s Red Line Alexander and Aidan O’Brien’s Love Bracelet take up the bulk of the market for this extended nine-furlong maiden contest.

They represent a fair standard for their 12 rivals to aspire to, but there’s nothing overly intimidating about their form and speed figures. Dermot Weld is represented by a better fancied newcomer here and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Solene Lilyette proved sharp enough first time out. However, Weld’s perceived second-string horse - MERE CATHERINE - may have what it takes to ruffle a few feathers.

A daughter of Pour Moi, Mere Catherine had three runs as a juvenile last season, the best of those a good second at Naas over seven furlongs. She returned as a three-year-old last month and was well-supported to get off the mark.

She could only manage fifth, but it was a sound return effort behind Bella Brazil at Gowran and you’d expect the filly to improve a good bit. The step up in trip is more likely to be a positive than not and she rates as a decent each-way hope.

5.45 Ballinrobe: DANCING DOLL

John Murphy’s Sharp Focus arrives in-form and a 6lb penalty may not be enough to stop the horse following up a Killarney win last time. At a huge price, I’ll have a pop at the favourite and his immediate dangers by having a few quid each-way on DANCING DOLL, who is likely to be a big double-figure price come race time.

She is only one win from 24 career starts, but her handicap rating has slipped from 69 to 58 in recent outings and although she’s a limited performance, Dancing Doll is undoubtedly a well-handicapped horse. Her two outings this term don’t suggest a win is obviously imminent, however, the performance ratings suggest she probably ran a little better than you’d think and she might be worth a small investment for Win and Place purposes.

6.45 Ballinrobe: ROYAL FREE HOTEL

Aidan O’Brien’s Monument Valley will be an odds-on shot of this and, in theory, the 90-rated Galileo colt should just go ahead and shed his maiden tag easily. However, the horse hasn’t really impressed on the clock and it’s worth having an each-way view against the favourite, just in case the handicapper is wrong, and the speed ratings are right.

ROYAL FREE HOTEL will need to improve a stone or so to get into the frame here, but Jessica Harrington’s charge progressed by around 11lb from her debut to her second start at Fairyhouse last time out.

A Mastercraftsman filly, Royal Free Hotel is going to be a strong stayer and this step up to 1m5f shouldn’t be a problem for the horse. She recorded a decent time when third to Afterglow and another significant step forward should see her in the mix for places at least.

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