Popular tipster and pundit Alan Marron is here once again to run the rule over a Friday-night card at Dundalk Stadium.
5.00 VIEW RESTAURANT JANUARY SPECIAL HANDICAP (4yo+ 45-65) Winner €5,910 14 runners 1m4f Standard, RTV
WILD SHOT ran a very encouraging race when fourth to Ragtime Red on the 20th December 2019. He stayed on well in the closing stages after getting a little outpaced and the step up in trip here looks like a positive move.
He is five-pounds higher than when he won off a mark of 56 when beating Sharjah by a nose. If he can get back to that form I would expect him to go very close here. This race looks weaker than those he has contested in recent times so the topweight could be the way to go.
Shane Kelly keeps the mount after last-time out and his claim could be very valuable here.
Looks to be solid each way value and I would expect him to go very close.
THIS RACE IS ON OF THREE EXTRA-PLACE RACES WE HAVE AVAILABLE ON TONIGHT’S CARD AT DUNDALK – SEE BELOW
5.30 IRISHINJUREDJOCKEYS.COM HANDICAP (4yo+) Winner €7,092 14 runners 1m2f150y Standard, RTV
Those of you who follow my previews know that SECRET WIZARD is one of the horses that has appeared more than once. He is a horse who is still very well handicapped if he gets the proper pace to aim at. Robbie Colgan is back on board this time around and he could be primed to strike at a decent each-way price.
He was third behind Lady De Vesci, who reopposes here, and at the weights he is entitled to get a lot closer to his rival. He was denied a clear run when fifth to Art Of America, who also reopposes, so while he has form to overturn, I expect him to get very close to doing it.
Sheila Lavery has her team in good form and she will be hopeful of a very good run here no doubt.
6.00 FUNDRAISE AT DUNDALK STADIUM HANDICAP (DIV I) (4yo+ 45-65) Winner €5,910 14 runners 1m Standard, RTV
LADY BOOMERANG is somewhat of a speculative selection here as solid form is few and far between in the race. Jessica Maye, who is the sister of Geological’s jockey Vanessa, is on board here and could get a decent spin and go very close with some luck in running.
With blinkers applied on the 20th November she ran a very eye-catching race to finish seventh behind Whatarm, beaten just under six lengths. This time around cheek-pieces are applied and they could just help with her concentration and get her to see out her race a little better.
She will be a big price here but is down to a mark of 55 and has finished second off a mark of 64. She ran over 1m 4f last time out and comes back to 1m here which should be more to her liking.
6.30 FUNDRAISE AT DUNDALK STADIUM HANDICAP (DIV II) (4yo+ 45-65) Winner €5,910 14 runners 1m Standard, RTV
It could be a quick double for trainer John Geoghegan as he saddles SILK CRAVAT in the second division of this mile handicap. He was a running-on third behind Beleaguerment last week when he didn’t get a clear run whatsoever. The biggest thing for me is that this horse absolutely flew home – he was 13th entering the final furlong and got up to finish 3rd.
His mark remains unchanged here and he looks to have a very good opportunity to get his head in front. That was the first positive piece of form he has shown in recent times and, all going well, he should be able to back that up. He goes up in trip from 7f to 1m and that could just prompt that little bit of extra improvement.
7.00 CROWNE PLAZA RACE & STAY HANDICAP (4yo+) Winner €7,092 14 runners 1m Standard, RTV
POET’S PRIDE was very well backed overnight last time out and ran a hugely promising race when 3 ¾ lengths behind Outside Inside after being very slowly away from the stalls. The jockey reported after the race that the horse sat down and missed the break. To finish as close as he did was a very good run and he has been left on the same mark as he steps back up in trip.
That was his first run for David Marnane after leaving the stable of David Barron and, with improvement to come, he looks like one of the best bets on the night for me if he can get away quicker from the stalls.
The slight negative here is that he is drawn in stall 15, but Donagh O’Connor should be able to drop him in and let him travel away and hope for luck in running up the straight. He finished fourth over 1m 2f at Nottingham on the turf in 2018 so the trip here looks to be no problem whatsoever.
I would expect him to go very close. EW NAP OF THE NIGHT.
7.30 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF FILLIES MAIDEN (PLUS 10 RACE) (3yo) Winner €8,865 14 runners 7f Standard, RTV
This is quite an intriguing-looking maiden and Joseph O’Brien leads a two-pronged attack on this race. All the market support will likely come for Line Judge, who is very nicely bred, but it may pay to follow her stablemate JULIET ROSE, who has plenty of stamina in her pedigree with Camelot and Dalakhani appearing in as sire and damsire, respectively, so she could be ready to press on now as three-year-old.
What form there is for this race is not the strongest in the world so the newcomers won’t need to be anything special to get involved here.
I am hoping that the value won’t go on this filly and she could turn out to be a very decent price.
8.00 BET ON THE BEST NIGHT OUT AT DUNDALK STADIUM RACE (3yo) Winner €8,865 6 runners 6f Standard, RTV
While Pip’s Eagle looks an interesting newcomer, experience may be vital and DARK VADER, while being a short price, I would think looks the solid proposition. He was very impressive when he broke his maiden over 7f when he beat Hieroglyphic trained by Michael Halford by very comfortable 2 and a quarter lengths. He stepped up to a mile last time out and to me it looked like he didn’t really stay the trip. He finished fourth but had done his running by the furlong pole and dropped away close home.
He drops back to six furlongs here and I think he will be very hard to beat. He had some very solid form-lines in his first two runs, finishing behind Aidan O’Brien trained juveniles, Arizona and Royal Lytham, who were successful in Group races after that.
This looks the ideal stepping stone for Dark Vader’s progression here.
8.30 CROWNE PLAZA RACE & STAY HANDICAP (3yo+) Winner €7,092 14 runners 6f Standard, RTV
This looks the most competitive race on the card to end the night and an old favourite of mine here looks to have a solid each-way chance.
HIT THE SILK was ridden with very exaggerated waiting tactics last time out behind Red Cymbal and that left him with plenty to do approaching the straight. He ran on but was never near the leaders and it was something of a lacklustre run. The one positive that I take from this horse is that he travels well and was only two lengths behind his stablemate Alfredo Arcano, which was a very good run.
He is drawn wider than ideal here in stall 13 and he may have to sit and suffer and hope for some luck up the straight. He has been dropped 3lb since his run behind Alfredo Arcano and he should go close if he can get some luck. He is a turf winner off 83 so, if his all-weather mark of 76 can balance out, he still looks nicely weighted.
Small each way chance.