Will Reilly previews the first of two days of racing this week at Dundalk, an afternoon meeting ahead of Friday’s evening card.
A full house of 14 runners plus three reserves in seven of the eight races on Wednesday November 6th tells you all need to know about the demand for racing at Dundalk on what is Dundalk Institute Of Technology Students Union Race Day.
The card starts at 2:15pm with the Crowne Plaza Race & Stay Claiming Race, in which Master Speaker looks to hold a solid chance based on the weights and ratings of the runners, even though he rarely runs at tonight’s trip. The value at the prices, though, could lie with Sir Ottoman, who drops back to tonight’s trip, over which he won here on September 27th, following two runs at seven furlongs. He holds Early Call and Eastern Racer on earlier form based on tonight’s weights.
The overnight favourite for the Christmas Party Nights At Dundalk Stadium Nursery (2:45pm) was The King Of Kells, who has won two of his last four races and looks open to further improvement. That latter comment also applies to Michael O’Callaghan’s Kitten On The Keys, who showed improved form on her handicap debut when finishing second here last time. The step up in trip tonight from that run can only help her chance. Tinkerbells Effect is closely weighted with her based on that run. In first-time cheek-pieces, Johnny Murtagh’s Enchanted One is another to consider, while Gavin Cromwell’s Almost A Dream ran well in a maiden here in May and would have needed her latest run, which came after a 146-day break.
Following a very promising second at Navan on October 9th on his debut, Johnny Murtagh’s So Suave looks to have been found a good opportunity in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Auction Maiden (3:20pm), while Peshkova, a winner here last year, won last-time out on what was just her second start for trainer Ray Cody and a five-pound rise in the ratings for that looks reasonable ahead of taking her chance in the DKIT Students Union Race Day Handicap (3:50pm). Of her opponents, Lily’s Prince ran well here from today’s rating last time, Johnny Levins’ Distant Mirage looked as though she had better to come when third here last time on just her third run for her current trainer, Fit For Function is capable of running well from his current rating, Honor Oak’s rating has dropped to one from which she can’t be discounted and Mutadaawel will get his reward for consistency one of these days.
Masalai will arrive in good form for the Christmas Party Nights At Dundalk Stadium Handicap (Division One) at 4:25pm and his rating still looks fair. He is three pounds better off with Fashaar for the half-length he was beaten by that horse here last time over the shorter trip of seven furlongs but is better-drawn today. Recent Dundalk winner Crafty Hugo (who is a reserve for the race) should go well if eventually getting into the contest.
In the second division at 5pm, Lady In Lavender will arrive on the back of a course-and-distance win and, if the same type of form, could be fancied to go well although she is drawn wide, which is not always the best place to be at Dundalk in handicaps of distances of six or seven furlongs or a mile.
In the first division of the Irishinjuredjockeys.com Handicap (5:30pm), Happy Company looks reasonably weighted based on the best of his summer turf form and the lightly-raced Cherryville is one to watch for in the betting. Also lightly raced, Clifftop made late headway last time and steps up in trip today so should be considered, while Ragtime Red, the only course-and-distance winner in the line-up, looks reasonably weighted and comes here relatively fresh, while first-time blinkers could improve the fortunes of Flying Focus. Navan winner The Lady’s Bid will be trying Dundalk for the first time, Spelga showed improvement last time on what was his first run since August, and the lightly-raced Come Back And Stay is entitled to have improvement in her at tonight’s trip.
In the second division (6pm), Munaajaat caught the eye when third here last time over a shorter trip and looks poised to go well as she tries tonight’s longer trip for the first time.
2:15pm: SIR OTTOMAN (each-way)
3:20pm: SO SUAVE