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Peter Kingston previews tonight’s card at Dundalk

BarOneRacing.com sponsor the 7.30pm on tonight’s Dundalk card, the €17,500 7f Handicap for four year olds and older. Bar One Racing have the betting office at Dundalk, if you’re ever at the track be sure to pop in to see some of the specials we have on offer. Tonight for example Bar One Racing are paying an extra place on both the 5.30 and the 8.30, each way 1/5th of the odds 4 places.


Stronghold will be all the rage in the first at Dundalk, the 5pm. The Joseph O’Brien trained gelding was well backed last week and was a staying on 2nd. Tonight he’s up to 12 furlongs which should suit but the potential improvement is already factored into his skinny price. This is a rated race which works out like a handicap and none of the runners are disadvantaged. I don’t think a hood will suit Lady De Vesci, a selection here on the blog three weeks ago.

Therefore three that interest me are Political Policy (as good as ever over hurdles and this trip is ideal), California Lad (certainly has the ability off this mark and showing glimmers of returning to form) and the selection; Bibliotheca; has only won once in his career but has run well at Dundalk in the past. When 3rd here in November he was bumped early on, three wide as a result, keen mid race yet stayed on at the finish to be only beaten 4 lengths by a subsequent winner, Too Precious. A mile and a half will be more suitable having won over 15 furlongs. Ben Coen takes off a valuable 5 pounds and the cheek pieces which seemed to work last time are re-applied. Willie Browne’s mare looks a fair each way bet in the opener.


The 5.30pm is a tricky first division of the 45-65, 10 furlong handicap. An extra place on offer with Bar One Racing, it’s needed. Sleepy Head sets a fair standard with a good run last time out, second to an improving Shadow Seven, now rated 18 pounds higher. Pat Flynn’s mare hasn’t run in 65 days however and is drawn in stall 13.

Another who could attract support is Alhajjaj. The saddle slipped on him when well backed three week’s ago. A run here over a mile at the end of October would suggest he’s feasibly handicapped dropping in grade, that and his maiden win over this trip at Wolverhampton for former trainer Andrew Balding. Drawn 4 the Anthony McCann runner is a big player but enough question marks for me to swerve.

The bet I think is Baratheon of Ross O’Sullivan’s. Conor Hoban takes the mount from stall 1. His last two barriers have been 9 and 14. The case here for this Henrythenavigator gelding is the drop down in trip. I think he shaped last time out as if 10 furlongs may be ideal and squeeze enough improvement out of him to win off a basement mark in what is a very ordinary race. Baratheon is unexposed and can get involved today with a better trip at a more agreeable distance.

Feisty One You Are

Feisty Katerina ran a very good race in 2nd on her first run for Adrian Joyce last time out. Just before Christmas the ex Brendan Duke trained filly was just touched off by subsequent winner McGuigan. Feisty Katerina has been in the notebook since a cracking third in Leopardstown last June off 65. Despite a 4 pounds rise for not winning, she looks a very fair favourite in the 6pm to make amends tonight off a mark of 59.

The only danger I can see is Edification, who is also subject of a recent trainer switch and ran a blinder here last week behind Gougane Barra over a mile for Mark Fahey. Trouble is the trainer seems to be striking while the iron’s hot but the 6 year old has no form over this longer trip of 10 furlongs. He’s worth a small saver though as I feel he’s well handicapped over a mile and there’s a chance he gets the extra 2 furlongs.

Prices for tonight’s Dundalk card on BarOneRacing.com desktop here 

Sets the Standard

Anythingyouwantobe is the tentative selection in the 7pm, a fillies maiden for 3 year olds over 7 furlongs. A Kingman filly trained by Ger Lyons, she was a respectable 4th first time out behind Pennsylvania Avenue. The 2nd Sky Seven has since won impressively. Weakness in the market this morning is off putting but she is becoming a fair price and it will take a good one to beat her first time out, I think she has the beating of those with a run.

Flamboyant Fling is unlikely to run here as third reserve but is a classic case of ‘the over-priced reserve’. He ran perfectly well on debut with some promise over 6 furlongs. It’s fair to think that trained by Michael Halford there will be more to come on his second start. If he was to be confirmed as getting a run he’d be no bigger than 14/1, if he doesn’t run you’ll get your money back. This is not a one off, I often find they’re overpriced for not much reason.

Have a Nice Day

A tragic irony. Trainer of Have a Nice Day John Feane lost his Dad this week, legendary Jimmy Feane, who’s funeral takes place today in Kildare. May he rest in peace.

Obviously horse racing and especially betting seems trivial on days like these. This likeable horse would be a poignant success.

His chief rivals have seen big hikes in the weights for their last wins respectively, he’s dropped a pound and gets a better stall than last time, where I thought he may have won with a more aggressive ride. Have A Nice Day looks a fair each way bet with 8 runners.

Off the Mark

Sir Mark Prescott runs Master Diver in the 8pm, a 7 furlong 4 year old maiden. The master trainer has a 50% strike rate in Dundalk, 5 wins from 10 runners and his horse is priced up at around a 50% chance of winning according to the market.

Master Diver blew the start on debut at Wolverhampton, had to swing wide of trouble 3f out and finished off quite eye-catchingly. Then at Newcastle a week ago he went a ferocious pace and paid for it late on, tiring into 2nd. His dam was group placed and a half sister to Rockaway Valley. This looks a great opportunity for Master Diver to get off the mark.

Twenty Minutes back to a more suitable trip should be his main danger. Donagh O’Connor is a fine appointment in the saddle for an apprentice maiden and his run here behind View the Bay makes him forecast material.

Pedro de Styles

Thomond O’Mara’s 4 year old colt has been well backed overnight and it’s easy to see why. Ridden by an inexperienced jockey on his maiden runs, he qualified for a handicap mark of 57. In his first handicap at the end of November here Gary Halpin took the ride, it was very eye-catching. Ridden at the rear, he was never knocked about and finished with some running to give you felt, only beat 2 lengths in the end. With that experience under his belt you’d imagine Pedro de Styles is ready to make hay off this lowly mark. 2 problems; stall 12 and we’ve missed the fancy prices. Nevertheless he is an intriguing runner in a race that doesn’t inspire.


Bibliotheca 9/1 5pm

Baratheon 14/1 5.30pm (4 Places)

Feisty Katerina 15/8 6pm

Anythingyouwantobe 7/2 7pm

Have a Nice Day 9/2 7.30pm

Master Diver 5/4 8pm

Pedro De Styles 7/1 8.30pm (4 Places)



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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article