Claimers are rarely straightforward races and this is no exception. There is even a runner from England, Red Charmer, for Marjorie Fife, who has two runners on the card. Red Charmer headed the overnight betting at 5/2. My Direction should run well if the first-time headgear works but you can build a case for a few of the runners. Good luck if you are getting involved.
Eagle Song will be popular following his cosy win here last Friday.
The beautifully-bred Mona Lisa’s Smile – by War Front out of the Irish 1,000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks winner Imagine – could be thrown in off a rating of 69.
Why does Homecoming Queen come to mind? She was beaten in her maiden at Dundalk, won a nursery at Fairyhouse and then won the following year’s English 1,000 Guineas.
(By the way, can you name another horse that got beaten in a Dundalk maiden before winning a Classic and, indeed, also won at the Breeders’ Cup meeting in America? I’ll write in the answer at the end of this piece.)
Gold Jasmine’s form ties in with Mona Lisa’s Smile, Jarrocho can improve at tonight’s trip, Pleasurable may fare better with a tongue-tie fitted and Sunset Nova was unlucky at Fairyhouse (flew home) and could go well, although he has a wide draw to contend with.
Back in trip, Vhagar could go well and blinkers for the first time could spark up Rathmoylan Cove.
This is an interesting handicap, with a mixture of potential improvers and solid, good handicappers. The unexposed King’s Field headed the overnight market at around 10/3. He’s lazy but willing when asked, which are good qualities when it comes to staying ahead of the handicapper. Ben Coen will now know the best route to plot with Katiymann, who won this race last year from a slightly lower mark, and he should run well.
As I say, it’s an interesting contest.
You can build a case for a number of the runners, including Tyrconnell, Little Camacho, Roman Gal (in first-time cheek-pieces) and Spanish Dawn.
Overnight favourite Bouquet Garni is hard to win with despite a good number of places in his career.
For me, the horse that was overpriced in the early markets was Guanabara Bay. He returns to Dundalk for the first time since he won there in January from a five-pound higher rating. His stable is in good form and he has a good draw. I doubt that 14/1 will last.
Ahlan Bil Zain will be popular following his win here last Friday, but there’s a horse that I have considered to be well-handicapped for a while now, and that is Eacharn. He won here from today’s rating in March over six furlongs and could well be ready now for a step up to tonight’s trip of seven.
He looks overpriced to me at 5/1 in the early markets.
The feature race and it’s one to savour.
With Lost Treasure needing to be delivered late in the day, will first-time blinkers help Donnacha O’Brien carry out the plans to perfection on this classy colt? Don’t forget, he wasn’t far away from winning the Group 1 Prix del’Abbaye on Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe day, it’s just that he stops as soon as he hits the front.
History tells us that the British raiders dominate this contest: they’ve won the last four and six of the last ten.
No horse aged less than four has ever won the race, so does that rule out the two-year-olds? 14 two-year-olds have run in the race but none has managed to win it. Their best placings have been Declarationofpeace (third, last year) and subsequent dual-Group 1 winner Marsha (third, 2015).
With the overseas point in mind – six wins, four seconds and four thirds in the last ten years – I narrow it down to Encore d’Or and Equilateral. They are both well-drawn and should love the surface at Dundalk.
This is a maiden that lacks strength in depth. The well-related Captain Dan – he’s a half-brother to Breeders’ Cup winner Chriselliam – is the most-interesting newcomer, although King Citric also has a nice pedigree. His overnight price of 50/1, though, wasn’t encouraging.
His stable-companion Chillala has shown speed along the way and maybe a first-time tongue-tie will bring out the best in her, although stronger contenders appear to be Shy Moon, Tintoretto and Proud And Elated.
Dawn Trouper headed the overnight market but I can’t get comfortable with him dropping back to six furlongs from previous runs. On breeding, it would not appear to be the best option – not that I would question the judgement of connections!
It’s a fascinating finale, in which the dependable Nimitz will meet the quirky, but talented, Commander Won for the third-successive race. It’s one win each and one second each in those meetings.
Both hold chances again, although Commander Won may set the race up for something else, which may come in the shape of Echo Park, who is proving consistent on turf. Jessica Harrington’s filly headed the overnight market at around 5/2 mark, which looks reasonable enough.
The answer to the earlier question: Magician