Midweek Minefields

Dundalk Preview Wednesday 20th November

Peter Kingston breaks down tonight’s card at Dundalk Stadium

A claimer and six handicaps on an eight race card tonight at Dundalk. If your sadistic like me and enjoy trying to solve these puzzles, it is your night. If not, I’ve tried to make it easier for you and surmise my thoughts on the card below. No one ever said it was going to be easy!

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No Hassle

Hasslenott is the selection in the first race, the claimer. Claimed by Ger Lyons only 19 days ago, he at least brings recent winning form to the table. On adjusted ratings he has 9 pounds to find with That is the Spirit and Yuften but they both need leaps of faith. Alcatraz is hard to win with as he often throws his race away at the start.

This is a process of elimination. The faith Ger Lyons showed to claim him and two wins in last three starts against a field of mainly out of form opponents makes him the choice in the 5.30.

Thomond Park

The in form Thomond O’Mara stable hold the aces in the 6.00pm. Two winners in the last fortnight here for the Tipperary trainer and this evening he can continue to make Dundalk a happy hunting ground. Voyageofdiscovery is up five pounds for a comprehensive win last time but takes four pounds off with the use of Gavin Ryan (7). What would put me off is he got the perfect set up a fortnight ago and Tom Madden never had to hit him with the whip. Something O’Mara said in post race comments you can’t do and he’s ‘tricky’.

Instead I plump for the stablemate Avalanche. He had a very wide trip last time here behind Dream Sleep. The nine year old is drawn five tonight compared to 12 last time, is down three pounds in the handicap and claims an extra two pounds off with Donagh O’Connor. He’s won twice of marks higher in the past and looks a fair price to get involved tonight.

Same Again

Beau Warrior looked full value for her win in the nursery a fortnight ago, many of those she beat re-oppose here. A six pound hike should be manageable as she missed the break, was caught on heels turning in and made up plenty of ground in the straight off a slow pace to win snugly in the end.

Available at 5/2 this morning in the 6.30pm, she trades plenty shorter now after being flagged by popular tipster Andy Holding. It can be a nightmare when he fancies the same one as you and you’re not on.

Here’s the full card for this evening’s action at Dundalk

Two Against the Field

Al Batal has some fair form in the book, though was a disappointing selection for me last time out. He leapt as the stalls opened however and gets a significant jockey upgrade today. Six furlongs should suit and with concerns over the front two in the market, looks a solid alternative.

The favourite off such a long absence and Proud and Elated being such a weak finisher (though drops back in trip here) it’s worth chancing another at a price in the 7.00pm maiden. Arcanecho fell out of the stalls behind Captain Power last time out and finished with a rattle in the straight to be only beaten two lengths in fourth.

While it was a weak race; with a clearer run he could have been placed and with a better break could have won. That makes Arcanecho over priced in my mind.

Old Reliable

Cappadocia is eight years old and is a course and distance winner off the same handicap mark back in August. Last time he raced over seven furlongs and was held up, his three previous runs came on soft. Excuses for Mark Fahey’s geldings last four runs leads you back to Cappodocia’s win here.

I expect him to bounce out from favorable draw in stall four and to try and make all. Big prices quoted for tonight’s 8.00pm are tempting.

Ar Saoirse is respected as ran well in claimer behind Captain Power after missing the break badly here on 26th Oct and ran creditably despite that. Zwack off bottom weight is not as forlorn as odds suggest and Tyrconnell is very solid having been wide two starts ago, and just failing last start when challenging down the slower inside rail.

Sting in the Tail

Smart Stinger was found to be in season post race last time out so it’s run behind Luna’s Luck is the one to concentrate on and that was a good one. Drawn one tonight Andrew Slattery’s filly can go very close.

Downtown Diva spoiled her mark somewhat running in a maiden behind Raynama as she went up six pounds since. She’s caught the eye on a few occasions looking capable off a lowly handicap mark and gets the assistance of Colin Keane but stall 13 puts me off.

Red All Star should ensure pace to this 8.00pm race and the one I think may benefit most is Palmetto Bay who gets  a nice toe into the race following some front runners drawn beside here. Palmetto Bay’s dropping down the distances and it doesn’t look folly on visual evidence. The three year old filly travels well in her races and just doesn’t see it out. Her dam won at 6f as did her half sister as a two year old.

Palmetto Bay may have suffered from a lack of cover when finishing behind Paved Paradise almost three weeks ago, left in front earlier she was feeling the brunt of the gale blowing that miserable night in the straight and winners seemed to come down the stand side. I’m reaching a bit but at big prices you’re allowed to.

Wake up Sleepy Head

Pat Flynn can finish tonight’s card in style with a double. Sleepy Head was five wide into the first bend over 10 furlongs a fortnight ago. She’s drawn in stall two tonight and is down a pound since finishing a good second to subsequent winner Lady de Vesci.

Sleepy Head traveled well and just got tired last time out late out, paying for early exertions. 12 furlongs is a stamina concern but they’re often slowly run contests around here and at the price she is worth a shot.

Miss Louise flew home off a crawl behind Rips Dream latest and would have a chance here in the 8.30pm too where I think Danehill Quest is solid but Joseph O’Brien’s favorite is plenty short.

Rips Dream has gone up a stone in weight for his last two runs. He would be susceptible tonight except the last is a really weak heat. A reproduction of his last run when just getting pipped by Too Precious should be good enough.

Nostalgic types will be cheering on Cristy’s Call and Paddy the Celeb in the finale at 9pm, two veterans at the track. I’ll be cheering on the Rip Van Winkle pair before it’s time to go to bed.

See Bar One Racing’s Special offers for today


Hasslenott 5.30

Avalanche 6.00 

Beau Warrior 6.30

Al Batal / Arcanecho 7.00

Cappadocia 7.30

Palmetto Bay 8.00

Sleepy Head 8.30

Rips Dream 9.00

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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article