Alan Marron’s Dundalk preview & tips

Friday night is a Dundalk night once again this week


5.15 Irish Stallion Farms EBF(C&G)Med.Auc.Mdn 2-y-o of €16,000.00 . 7f.

Jessica Harrington still has her team in flying form and they arrive here on the back of Albigna winning impressively at Longchamp last Sunday. AESOP is coming off a break and is drawn wide here but I don’t see that being much of an issue. On his debut at the Curragh he was very quick out of the stalls and even though he stumbled he still managed to get to the front and set the fractions. He was headed just after halfway and then weakened inside the final furlong and finished fifth. He should come on a good bit from that run and I would expect a big performance here. In terms of form from his debut, the winner of the race Wichita has gone to finish second in a listed race at Doncaster and then absolutely bolt up in a Group Three at Newmarket. We have not seen many of the others in the field. Aesop will be hard to keep out of the frame here with normal improvement shown.

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5.45 Irish Stallion Farms EBF (F) Med.Auc.Mdn 2-y-o of €16,000.00 . 7f.

John Feane is no stranger to success at Dundalk and he has a decent chance here with his filly here WILD CHERRY. Her debut at Naas was full of promise in a very competitive race. She was 50-1 at Naas but she ran very well finishing fifth but had some well bred fillies in front of her. Three of the four fillies that finished in front of her were at the head of the market that day so I would like to think John Feane was very pleased with her first time out. The booking of Kevin Manning here suggests that she has come on from that run and they expect a nice performance. She could be the value in the race here as it doesn’t look the strongest.

6.15 7f Handicap (3yo+)

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DANCING ON A DREAM in the famous Peter Savill colours could give title chasing Donnacha O Brien another winner as his battle with Colin Keane continues to gather pace. This filly was formerly trained by Jessica Harrington and ran a very solid race on her first run for her new yard when third to Facethepuckout at Listowel. While the Dundalk surface will be new to her she is the type of filly that the yard could run up a sequence with over the coming months. She runs here off a mark of 74, the same mark that she ran off in Listowel and that for me gives her a very strong chance. Joseph will be looking for improvement on second run for him and if that happens she could be a filly that could reach a mark in the 90s. She is one that I will be keeping a close eye on over the next couple of weeks if she doesn’t manage to get her head in front here.

6.45 Crowne Plaza Race & Stay Package Handicap of €17,000.00

As a winner of this race in 2017 ATLAS will be looking to get back into the winners enclosure for the very shrewd team of Denis Hogan. He has been mixing it between flat and jumps over the last couple of months and he will need to show a little more to be competitive here. His handicap mark gives him a solid chance to finish in the frame. As his trainer has stated on numerous occasions he is a tricky old horse and his stats show that. I can see him getting a good tow into this race and he could be the one staying on at the end of the race when the others have cried enough. Small each way play suggested.

7.15 1m4f Apprentice Handicap (3yo+)

Followers of my previews will know that EFFERNOCK FIZZ has appeared a few times and I expect another big performance here. She is a front runner and this could be the race where she slips the field and is very hard to catch. Oisin Orr is a good man to have on board. She ran a cracker when second at the Curragh to Kastasa on the 23rd of August where she had them all on the stretch and just failed to hold on. She went on to win next time out at Bellewstown over hurdles which was a very impressive run off a mark of 112. Her flat mark still shows plenty of room for improvement and she could be another one to watch over the winter months. Solid chance here and will be hard to keep out of the frame if she adopts the usual front running tactics.

7.45 1m2½f (1m2f150y) Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Red God” Handicap (3yo+)

Tony Martin is a dab hand at landing big pots and he has a very good chance here with the Galway Hurdle winner TUDOR CITY. His flat mark is very lenient and he was unlucky not to win last time out at the Curragh when fourth behind One Cool Poet who himself had a very profitable Galway Festival. The horse who finished second that day Numerian went on to finish second in the Diamond Stakes at Dundalk back on 27th September. Tudor City has been aimed at a number of decent pots on the flat and he has failed to deliver, this could be his night and it will take a decent one to get past him with luck in running. He has only run once at the Co. Louth venue so he is quite unexposed on the all weather.

8.15 1m2½f (1m2f150y) Crowne Plaza Leading Jockey & Trainer Championship Handicap (Div I) (3yo+ 45-65)

Gerry Keane has his team in fine form and with his son Colin vying for the jockeys title the confidence will be high in the Keane household. NAVAJO RIDGE is his runner here and with cheekpieces applied for the first time he could be a different proposition. He ran a very good race when fourth to Pak Army trained by Shay Barry last time out over 1m 4f at the course and the drop back in trip could be exactly what he needs. The booking of Joe Doyle isn’t necessarily a negative as he was on board when fourth to One Cool Poet at Galway. This race is weaker than that and he should go very close here. He has gone up a 1lb in the handicap from last time and that leaves him in with a very good chance indeed. The NAP of the night for me here .

8.45 1m2½f (1m2f150y) Crowne Plaza Leading Jockey & Trainer Championship Handicap (Div II) (3yo+ 45-65)

SCHOOLBOY ERROR was a massive eyecatcher last time out over the course and distance when fifth behind Cache Queen. He has been subsequently dropped 1lb in the handicap from 59 to 58 and the way he travelled into the race the last day suggests that his turn is very near. He was a winner at Dundalk off a mark of 64 so is nicely handicapped and will be expected to go close in this race. He will probably need a stronger pace and travel into the race for a little longer before unleashing his finishing kick. He had two third place finishes at Dundalk in October last year so this is his time of year and he is fully 13lb lower than some of the marks he has raced off last season. It will be very hard to keep him out of the frame if he gets the pace he needs. Strong chance.


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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article