Past Winners » Ballyadam Approach


Ballyadam Approach is 10 years old, but he is not your typical 10-year-old. He has run just seven times over fences and just 14 times under Rules in his life. He was off for a year and a half before he made his debut this term in a handicap chase at Thurles in December, a race that he probably would have won had he not fallen at the second last fence.

He ran well in defeat on his next couple of runs, particularly in the Nas Na Riogh novices’ handicap chase at Naas at the end of February, behind Empire Of Dirt and Champagne James, and he improved again to put up a career-best performance on his most recent run. Well backed for that decent two-mile novices’ handicap chase at Fairyhouse’s Easter meeting, he led or disputed the lead throughout and stayed on well over the final three fences. Dysios loomed up on the outside approaching the third last but Ballyadam Approach found plenty and he had Dysios’ measure when that one fell at the final fence.

A point-to-point winner, he has lots of form over two and a half miles, over hurdles and fences, and he should progress again now for stepping back up in trip. He was raised 6lb for the Fairyhouse win, and he is 2lb out of the handicap today too, but there is every chance that his effective mark of 123 is still within his range now that he is improving. He was rated 120 at his peak over hurdles and he shapes like a better chaser.

It is interesting that Terence O’Brien is letting him take his chance today rather than waiting for the novices’ handicap chase on Friday, it suggests he thinks his horse is in good form and ready to run another big race, and that he is up to open handicap company. He is worth backing at double-figure odds.