2.25 CROWNE PLAZA LEADING JOCKEY & TRAINER CHAMPIONSHIP HANDICAP (DIV I) (3yo+ 45-65) Winner €5,910 14 runners 1m4f Standard RTV
John McConnell has his team in decent form at Dundalk over the last couple of weeks and has a good chance to get another winner here with CLIARA. The form of her second last run has been franked by Munfallet winning at the track since. She had a poor draw last time out where she had to be dropped in and ridden for some luck. She was only headed inside the final 150 yards and I think with that run behind her she will go close here. She has been dropped from 52 down to 49 and that could be enough to see her get her head in front.
2.55 CROWNE PLAZA LEADING JOCKEY & TRAINER CHAMPIONSHIP HANDICAP (DIV II) (3yo+ 45-65) Winner €5,910 14 runners 1m4f Standard RTV
THEFAITHFULINDIAN ran a race full of promise last time out and looks one of the runners here that is very unexposed. He was under pressure a long way from home last time out but stayed on strongly in the straight to finish third behind Spelga trained by Michael Halford. He had been running over 7f and 1m and now the step up in trip looks to have brought about plenty of improvement. He has been dropped a pound to a mark of 50 and I could see that mark being lenient. He could be a 65 rated horse over the coming weeks. I would expect him to go very close.
3.25 DUNDALK STADIUM CLAIMING RACE (3yo+) Winner €5,910 14 runners 1m Standard RTV
Noel Kelly is a trainer who loves a foray to Cartmel with his horses and YUFTEN looks a very shrewd recruit. They could reap the rewards very quick here as he looks the one they all have to beat. He wasn’t beaten far in a 27k handicap at the track on his second last run and that form looks good enough to be successful here. He has been very consistent in claimers this year and should go very close here. Looks the solid value.
3.55 IRISHINJUREDJOCKEYS.COM APPRENTICE HANDICAP (DIV I) (3yo+ 45-65) Winner €5,910 14 runners 1m Standard RTV
I recently selected LADY BOOMERANG in one of the previews and I will be giving her another chance to redeem herself here. The trainer has applied blinkers for the first time and it might just give her the perk that she needs to get competitive. The trainer had previously applied cheekpieces for the first time and she ran a cracking race to finish fifth, two lengths behind Buzz Killington. Her run last time out was very flat where she was beaten over six lengths in the end. The pace of the race didn’t really suit and if she travels a little better I can see her finishing her race out stronger. She looks a solid each way play here.
4.25 IRISHINJUREDJOCKEYS.COM APPRENTICE HANDICAP (DIV II) (3yo+ 45-65) Winner €5,910 14 runners 1m Standard RTV
LOADED came home with a right rattle last time out and was lucky not to get up and snatch victory away from Eacharn in a very competitive handicap. Each run for his new yard has been a steady progression, 4th, 3rd , 2nd and hopefully we now see him in the winners enclosure. He has gone back up 3lb in the handicap and this race looks weaker than the one he contested last time out. This horse was previously trained in Australia and would have taken plenty of time to adapt to his new surroundings. He looked like he is ready to strike now. He steps up in trip from 7f to 1m and that could prove to be the unlocking of the talent that this horse has.
4.55 CHRISTMAS PARTY PACKAGES AT DUNDALK STADIUM NURSERY HANDICAP (PLUS 10 RACE) (2yo 45-70) Winner €6,501 12 runners 6f Standard RTV
MISS SASSYBOOTS ran a race full of promise last time out and this race looks the ideal stepping stone in her career. She was staying on well and got blocked in running and ran on strongly close home. The pace could be key to her chances as she needs a strong pace and something to aim at up the straight. She has been raised 1lb for her last run and that looks like she remains on a very competitive mark. The horse that finished second in that race Enchanted One went on to finish fourth to Point Reyes last time out. The form looks strong and with luck in running she should go very close.
5.25 CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL RACE & STAY MAIDEN (3yo+) Winner €7,092 11 runners 6f Standard RTV
MY EXCELSA ran a very solid race on her second run for Johnny Levins and with normal improvement I would expect her to go close here. She gave Yale, trained by Aidan O’Brien plenty to think about when the penny dropped and she ran on late. She led inside the final furlong and got nabbed close home. This race looks weak compared to what she has contested this season so far and the former George Scott inmate could go very close here. She has the edge on Sceptical on form from that race and that should be more than enough here. Will be very hard to beat.
5.55 APPLEMAN’S CIDER RACE DAY RATED RACE (3yo+) Winner €10,343 13 runners 7f Standard RTV
A very tough puzzle to end the card and with Geological heading the weights it may take a good one to get past the front runner. OUTSIDE INSIDE who was formerly trained by Mark Johnston was very eye catching last time out and looks like one who could give them plenty to do here. She led inside the final furlong last time out and was strongly pressed and just headed close home. This race is another step up in grade and she will need to improve again. She could be a decent price here and I would expect a big run.