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Ballinrobe top tips: Stealthy Tom and Duffle Coat carry each-way hopes in wide-open handicap

Once the UK's afternoon racing ends Ballinrobe takes centre stage across the Irish Sea, and this 19-runner handicap chase promises to be one of the most competitive races on Monday evening's card.

18:30 Ballinrobe:  McHale Mayo National Handicap Chase  (2 miles 7¼ furlongs)

The clear early favourite is Romeo Magico, who has won two of his five chase outings, with a couple of runner-up spots thrown in and is expected to go well on his handicap debut under Rachael Blackmore, who has notably swerved Henry De Bromhead’s Toss Again in favour of Emmet Mullins’ seven-year-old.

Aime Desjy and We’llhavewan are expected to lead the challenge, but our top-of-the-market nod goes to the Enda Bolger-trained nine-year-old, Stealthy Tom, who has shown recent signs that he might be ready to reignite the form that brought five wins and three runner-up spots in nine outings between April 2022 and August last year.

Suggested best bet: Stealthy Tom in the 18:30 at Ballinrobe

A sub-par end-of-season run preceded a six-month break, with any winter cobwebs blown away in an early-season pipe-opener over hurdles in early April.

He looked better for that run when last seen back over fences at Kilbeggan 15 days ago, when he stuck gamely to his task to come a very respectable runner-up of 15.

That was Charlie O’Dwyer’s first time aboard this experienced campaigner, and his useful five-pound claim could again help produce a competitive run in a race of this nature.


Gordon Elliott’s runners make up more than a quarter of the 19-strong field, with his five entrants including Tullybeg, who is quietly fancied to repeat his success in this race, albeit carrying 11 pounds more than when cruising home 12 months ago.

However, it is another of Elliott’s string, Duffle Coat who has attracted the attention of some of Tipstrr’s each-way specialists, who fancy he could just give his stablemate a run for his money.

Duffle Coat first caught the eye at the back end of 2020, when he kicked off his career with four straight hurdling successes, but that early promise evaporated in a subsequent 20-race winless streak.

Next best each-way punt: Duffle Coat in the 18:30 at Ballinrobe

Modest success over hurdles and on the Flat caused a change of direction that saw the seven-year-old introduced to larger obstacles earlier this year, a plan that was promptly rewarded by four consecutive runner-up spots between February and April.

Another frame finish came at the Punchestown Festival where he came fourth at 40/1 in a big 17-runner handicap, and he was last seen a couple of weeks ago when coming just half a length behind short-priced favourite, Solitary Man at Kilbeggan.

Duffle Coat’s chances are in the capable hands of Sam Ewing, who has already landed eight winners and seven places from his 44 rides this term, and with those successes including 28/1 and 25/1 shots to put him 54 betting units up on the bookies, another surprise win might well be on the cards here.


READ MORE: Ballinrobe racing tips: Best bets for Monday May 27

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