Alan Marron has again been scouring the form book to unearth some value options in Sunday’s Irish Lincolnshire at Naas.
The Naas card starts at 1:30pm and the Irish Lincolnshire is due off at 4:10pm.
Leading National Hunt rider Ruby Walsh takes a ride in the 2pm race, the Kildare Post & Kildare Now Maiden, on Castletownshend, who is trained by his father, Ted, and owned by his mother, Helen. Ryan Moore has five rides on the card, all for Ireland’s champion flat trainer, Aidan O’Brien.
Irish Lincolnshire Handicap 2019
We revert back to the level after the thrills and spills at Cheltenham with the Irish Lincolnshire taking place at Naas racecourse this weekend (Sun 4:10pm).
The form angle can be very hard to gauge at this stage of the season as we have had many runners in this race running at Dundalk on the artificial surface and, also, other horses spending the winter over hurdles.
Naas is a track where course form can really prove key. For those of you who have read my recent previews, you would have seen that I believe that course form comes to the fore and gives us some value further down the market.
I will again, as normal, put forward two selections that I believe have solid each-way chances and hopefully this will lead us nicely into a profitable flat campaign .
This horse really stands out in the middle of the market as one that could end up near the front of it closer to race-time.
He was third in this race last year off the back of one run, but the most interesting thing for me this year is that he has had two runs at Dundalk. The trainer is obviously targeting this race and has booked a good seven-pound claimer in Gavin Ryan.
If we delve deeper into his form from last season, we see that the softer ground forecast for this weekend will prove no problem whatsoever. He finished fourth in one of the most-competitive handicaps of the season at Galway last year so the hustle and bustle of this race should suit his style to travel round and, hopefully, get a nice tow into the race from off the pace.
One nice piece of form to look at is when he finished third at Tipperary on 7th October last year. He finished two-and-a-half lengths in front of Band Of Outlaws who went on to bolt up in the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham.
I know it is very hard to take that kind of form at face value, but it still stands out. The draw could be a small issue to overcome as he is drawn in stall 20, but if Gavin Ryan can get him travelling behind the pace, he could simply be too good for them.
His form-lines with Aussie Valentine tie in very closely and that is why Warnaq will be my second selection.
Warnaq has won twice at Naas but is very lightly raced on the flat and could be another horse who has been targeted for this race.
He won a nice pot over hurdles around Navan and subsequently got a rating of 113 over hurdles and was favourite for a race at Leopardstown over Christmas. His flat rating of 88 is a standout for me because I most definitely think he is a few pounds better than that.
Robbie Colgan who will partner him this weekend, knows him really well. Drawn in stall 5 he might supply the pace angle to the race as he likes to get on with it up front. He stays really well, too, as he has shown in the past when winning over 1m2f at Naas and also over hurdles so, with the ground softer, he could well get the run of the race and could be tough to catch.
I would suggest a reverse forecast with Aussie Valentine as their form-lines are very close together and they could prove to be nicely handicapped for the first €100,000 handicap of the new turf Flat season.