Dundalk Stadium will stage its final meeting of 2018 on Friday December 21st (racing will resume at the track on Friday January 4th).
The first race on an eight-race card is due off at 4:30pm. The opener is a €20,000 maiden for two-year-olds and there’s a €25,000 seven-furlong handicap at 6pm. In total, the card carries €120,000 in prize-money.
Here are our regular and popular tipster Peter Kingston’s thoughts on the card.
Queens Park Lady
Rego Park is in Queens, New York. Isn’t google great? Rego Park Lady has a couple of runs to forgive but is my selection at a big price in the 5pm. A repeat of her run behind Gopsies Daughter in Navan in July and ahead of Landline would nearly be good enough here.
Gopsies Daughter beat the Adrian Murray-trained filly a length that day and is now rated 15 pounds higher, the 2nd 3 pounds higher and the 4th, Landline won next time out in Roscommon.
An ordinary run in Ayr needs to be forgiven in August and Rego Park Lady’s first run back off a break on the 4th on November. Seven furlongs is a concern but 6f looks no issue on evidence of the Navan run. She was a non-runner here on the 16th of November with a blood disorder. Hopefully she’s in good order tonight and I’m happy to chance Seamie Heffernan’s mount at big prices in an open event.
Sky’s The Limit
Sky Seven made a real nice impression on debut here at the end of November. Bustled about early at the rear of the field, the good-looking chestnut carried Ross Coakley nearer the front on the turn-in like a decent type. Sky Seven continued to make ground in the straight down the inner and just failed to get up, denied by Gordon Elliott’s highly-thought-of Pensylvania Avenue. Declan McDonogh said afterwards about the winner, ‘We always liked him – he’s a nice horse in the making’.
Sky Seven was 25/1 on debut, a little green in the straight and still just failed which leaves me to think the Halford-trained colt is open to plenty of improvement. Colin Keane takes the mount, which is never any harm, and while a fairly obvious selection, I’d be hopeful he’d get the better of the Joseph O’Brien-trained danger, Crockford, in the 5.30pm. He’s respected after a nice run in Gowran but disappointed afterwards and now comes back after a 148 day layoff.
Have A Nice Christmas
In a nine-runner race, where three are out of the handicap proper, the favourite hasn’t run for a 119 days and the top-weight looks out of form, it may pay to bet a solid and likeable horse each-way. Have a Nice Day fits that description for John Feane. The 8-year-old has won four times over course and distance and may have needed the run last time out after a break. That was over a mile, too, so the combination of return to his preferred trip and benefit of a run makes him a Christmas cracker of an each-way bet in the 6pm.
Now Yer Sucking Diesel
Kerosin looks very fairly treated for just a four-pounds rise for his win here a fortnight ago. It was only a half-a-length win but the Denis Hogan-trained gelding was value for more. Kerosin met traffic at a crucial stage just over a furlong out and he did well to get rolling again and win snugly in the end. Ten furlongs seems to be his ideal trip and Donagh O’Connor once again takes off a valuable five pounds.
Kerosin was sold to Godolphin from France for €125,000 back in 2015 after winning a Listed race in France over today’s trip. He never made it to the track for Saeed bin Suroor and was sold for a tenth of the price to his current owners. Commander Won should make this a good test and Kerosin looks a value alternative to the favourite, Too Precious (who has won her last four races) in the 7pm race.
Rolling Back The Years
Manorov is a Dundalk legend with three wins, five seconds, two thirds and a host of fair runs to his name in his 29 runs here. The strong travelling Tom McCourt-trained gelding is now eight-years-old but looks back to some form on the evidence of his fourth here back in November behind Too Precious. Although beaten seven lengths back on the 7th of November, get this; The winner has since won off a 25-pounds higher rating, the second has won off 10 pounds higher and the third won well on Wednesday off a pound lower.
Manorov has since dropped five pounds to a basement mark and Karen Kenny takes off a further 4 pounds. He didn’t win often enough in his career but on weights and measures the old character has a huge chance of getting involved here at a fair price. Drawn well in stall five, hopefully Karen can hold up Manorov for a ground-saving trip and be produced late to make the frame in the last race of 2018 at Dundalk, the 8pm.