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Thursday 19 October 2017

Palmones can pull off a big win for Flannery

Palmones and Gary Halpin
Palmones and Gary Halpin

Mayo is home to just five racehorse trainers and the most local of those to Ballinrobe is Michael Flannery, who last month enjoyed his first winner in over five years.

When Palmones won an apprentice handicap here an emotional Flannery admitted that he'd almost given up on the game but his only horse in training has given him hope and the same filly can again make the short journey to the races this evening a fruitful one for Flannery.

Previously trained by Andy Oliver, Palmones will have to post a career-best effort to win off a mark of 75 but certainly on the basis of her win last month she looks open to going in again and Flannery looks to have found an ideal opportunity to do so with €30,000 on offer for this six-runner race in which Palmones gets weight off all her rivals.

There's another small field in the Tote Handicap over an extended 1m5f and the only three-year-old in the line-up, Slaney Street, can win for a second time in a fortnight.

Jim Bolger's charge should appreciate the step up in trip and that can bring about further improvement from the son of Intense Focus who gets a valuable weight-for-age allowance of 11lbs.

Gordon Elliott has praised jockey Gary Halpin for his help in working with Elliott's small string of two-year-olds and the trainer can leg Halpin up on a winner when High Expectations runs in the apprentice handicap.

High Expectations hasn't been one of Elliott's most prolific winners but was able to exploit his lowly rating of 45 when scoring under Lisa O'Neill at Ayr in May. He was a beaten favourite at Hamilton next time but this looks a modest enough contest that High Expectations should be able to win.

Elliott and champion National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins are likely to be busy at Ballinrobe tomorrow night for the all jumping card at the track but as well as Elliott, Mullins too can be among the winners this evening with High Haven in the finale.

Mullins will again have the services of champion jockey Pat Smullen on High Haven who passed the judge in front first time out at the Curragh but lost the race in the stewards room that day after bumping Mr Everest in the closing stages.

The selection was then just touched off in the dying strides by a minimum margin here last month so there should be no excuse this time around.

Colin Keane kicked in the first winner at Fairyhouse yesterday and can do so again today at Ballinrobe when partnering Six Silver Lane in the Tote Claiming Race.

Six Silver Lane, in the hands of Keane, got his head back in front at Dundalk a couple of weeks ago and was second in the Corinthian Challenge Charity Race a few days later, so he's a horse that is back in form and with it being hard to make a case for too many others in the race, Six Silver Lane is given a tentative selection.

Meanwhile, dual Oaks winner Enable has been inserted back into the betting for Saturday's King George following speculation that the filly may well take on the colts for the first time at Ascot. The Yorkshire Oaks had been pinpointed as her next possible target but John Gosden's filly is now just 2/1 for Saturday's Group One.

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