We are back on the all weather at Dundalk Stadium for the final time in 2020 and it looks a very competitive card. We just had the one winner on Wednesday afternoon with Catena Zapata (8/1) improving off the back of a barrier trial and debut run.
I would like to wish everyone who has followed the previews a very Happy Christmas. I will hopefully be switching codes to National Hunt over Christmas so keep a close eye out folks.
You can catch all the action live on Friday in your local Bar One Racing shop. Our customer Christmas Draw takes place on Saturday at 3pm so make sure ye call in as you may have the opportunity to win a free bet or even one of the cash prizes.
As ever, we have Racing Offers available today, including some EXTRA-PLACE RACES at DUNDALK (See below)
4.00 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF RACE 5F
QUEENS CARRIAGE impressed me last time out with her manner of victory and while she may have to improve to contend her that is not a forlorn hope.
This race could really be run to suit with her two market rivals likely to take each other on from an early stage. I could see her sitting off the pace and pouncing close home.
Luke Mc Ateer will claim five pound off her back and that could be vital in the overall scheme of things. The form of her win last time out has been franked as Queenship came out and won since.
She kept on strongly over six furlongs last time and there is no doubt the pace angle will suit a closer in this race.
I think she is the value aspect in the race and could prove hard to beat.
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4.30 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF MAIDEN 7F
The draw hasn’t been kind to many at the top of the market and for that reason I am looking at a bigger priced rival to cause an upset.
ROCK ETOILE looks sure to be suited by the step back up in trip and with a nice draw in stall two he looks overpriced.
The form of his debut run at Cork back in July has worked out ok with the second, third and fourth coming out and getting their head in front since while the winner of the race was fourth in the Birdcatcher at Naas on its last run.
The fact that he is gelded also suggests there could be improvement to come and on his first attempt on a sounder surface he looks a viable each way play.
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5.00 HANDICAP 7F (DIV I)
KOYBIG has appeared in my notebook on more than one occasion and while he needs a race run to suit he may just get in here in division one of a competitive handicap.
He is off a mark of 70 which is his last winning mark on the all weather and he showed much more like his former self when a fast finishing second to Time and Money last time over a mile. The form of that race looks ok considering the winner was placed since and the third Munfallet has run a couple of decent races.
While seven furlongs has never been a favourable distance I think he is back in form and he could be staying on strongly from a good draw.
Will be hard to keep out of the frame here with luck in running.
5.30 HANDICAP 7F (DIV II)
For those of ye who have followed my previews on a regular basis this season you will be aware that KATIYMANN has appeared on a few occasions.
This horse is extremely well handicapped and I am hoping this time around is when he puts it all together and gets his head back in front.
He is 18lb lower than his last placed mark around here and with his stable in flying form and Ronan Whelan on board I can see a much better run. Ronan knows the horse well and should be able to slot him in and see if he can get him to finish his race better.
He is too well handicapped to ignore and should go well at a decent price.
6.00 CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL LEADING TRAINER AND JOCKEY AWARDS HANDICAP 7F
This race could be run at a very strong pace with Master Matt likely to attempt at making all the running and for that reason I think CROTCHET could be overpriced.
This mare trained by Joseph O’Brien and ridden by Declan Mc Donogh stayed on well from an unpromising position last time when fourth to Ummalnar in the Cooley Listed Stakes. That was a very creditable run in terms of this race and if she can back that up she will surely be one of the main contenders here.
Prior to that she ran on the all weather at Deauville where she was third in a listed race and the drop to handicap company could see her get her head back in front.
The market will likely suggest plenty but she would be a small each way play at a double figure price.
6.30 CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL DUNDALK MAIDEN 1M
In what looks a tricky enough maiden to try and solve I am hoping a return to the all weather for ABEONA could see a winning performance for the in form team of Sarah Lynam who has worked wonders with Juyush in recent weeks.
On her debut when trained by Ger Lyons this filly finished third to Vatican City trained by Aidan O’Brien who on his next run finished second to Siskin in the Irish 2000 Guineas. On that form alone this filly looks a standout in this field but she needs everything to drop right to get her head in front.
The most noticeable thing about this filly is the way she travels through her races and if Conor Maxwell can get a handy position then I could see her going very close.
She hasn’t been seen for 132 days and while she is likely to improve for the run I think we could see a decent performance back on the all weather.
7.00 HAPPY CHRISTMAS FROM ALL AT DUNDALK STADIUM HANDICAP 1M 2F
I have to give HARRIET’S FORCE one more chance considering she has been in cracking form on the surface in recent weeks and the smaller field could play to her strengths.
She was very unlucky three runs ago to finish second to Bucky Larson trained by Ger Lyons and then last time out she bumped into a well handicapped Settle For Bay who was winning for the first time since the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot.
While all her best form is at a mile I think she could be waited with here off a strong pace and be delivered very late by Geroid Brouder who claims seven pound off her back. That seven pound looks vital and brings her down to the lowest mark she would have raced off.
This race will no doubt be extremely tactical but I would be watching her for a fast late finish if she gets luck in running.
7.30 DUNDALK STADIUM RETURNS FRIDAY 8th JANUARY 2021 HANDICAP 1M 2F
John Mc Connell and Siobhan Rutledge have had some fine times at Dundalk in recent months and for some reason the team land the last race on the card.
I am hoping this is the case here as ALWISSAM caught my eye on his last run and could go well here at a decent price.
This will be his first run for his new stable as he was claimed out of Anthony Mc Canns yard following his third last time out when ridden by Siobhan. Even though he was well beaten he still ran a race full of promise and it will be interesting to see if a change of scenery can make the difference.
This horse started his career with Ed Dunlop and while his form doesn’t standout in this field he could be open to improvement.
He would be a small each way play in a tricky closer to 2020.