Kennedy aiming to keep ball rolling with D’Arc at Fairyhouse

Ball D'Arc (left): the mount of in-form Jack Kennedy

PICTURE: Patrick McCann ( Kennedy aiming to keep ball rolling with D'Arc By David Jennings 8:46AM 15 JAN 2017

JACK KENNEDY has looked born for the big stage of late. Seven days ago he guided Death Duty to Grade 1 glory at Naas, his second top-level success in the space of a fortnight, and today the 17-year-old will be on board Ball D'Arc in the lucrative Bar One Racing Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase at Fairyhouse.

The six-year-old has been favourite since betting opened on the race this week. He was also favourite for a similar contest at Leopardstown over Christmas when he was third behind Lake Takapuna, but he was badly hampered by the final-fence fall of Powersbomb and didn't get much luck up the run-in either.

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Victory for Ball D'Arc would extend Gordon Elliott's lead at the top of the Irish trainers' championship, and he has decent back-up with Turn Over Sivola, who was a useful performer for Alan King but has yet to fire since arriving in Ireland.

Defending champion Willie Mullins, who won the race in 2014 with Turban, is represented by Jarry D’Honneur. He was two places behind Ball D'Arc at Leopardstown but is expected to fare better this time provided he consents to settle.

Walsh to ride Baltimore Rock

British raider Baltimore Rock adds further spice. He was considered good enough to contest last season's Arkle after switching to the Neil Mulholland yard from David Pipe. He finished fourth at Ludlow on his first run of the season last month.

"I was very happy with his comeback run," said the trainer. "He was running a big race until he got badly hampered in the home straight. He's come out of the race well and hopefully he'll improve for his first outing."

On Sunday morning, Mulholland tweeted Noel Fehily, sore from a fall at Warwick on Saturday, would be replaced by Ruby Walsh on Baltimore Rock.

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