The Ballymore that takes place on the second day of the Festival is a race that has been responsible for many an exciting gamble over the years with favourites having not won since 2000 when Monsignor ridden by Mark Pitman came home.
Last year Five For Three won at odds at 7-1 for the canny Irish trainer, Willie Mullins; the odds of the winners before that however were quite scary for punters In 2007 a 20-1 shot won and the two years previously odds of 17-2, triumphed. In other words it is not a race that is too easy to select the winner, with many trainers leaving their horses in the race even though they carry more likely entries elsewhere.
The favourite for this years Ballymore Properties Hurdle is Diamond Harry, trained by Nick Williams who is best priced at around 7-2, he is reported to be in great form at home and is unbeaten over hurdles but he still runs a little green and might have to be at his very best to win.
Alan King has Karabak entered in this race he is a good looking hurdler who won very impressively last time out and is another fancied to run a big race by connections, as to is Mad Max, who is also unbeaten and holds a win over Karabak earlier in the season. Mullins too has an interesting runner in Quiscover Fontaine, he comes in boasting good form in Ireland but his ground preferences might be against him in this race.
Our fancy however is the Mouse Morris trained China Rock, who was a recent 25 length winner at Punchestown. He won that race after he was left in the clear by the fall of Head Of The Possee, who then went on to win a good quality race next time out. China Rock is currently priced at around 33-1 but is bound to get shorter; he must be an outstanding each way bet for this prestigious race.