Dundalk Preview Friday 8th January

Another Friday night of racing under the lights awaits at Dundalk

Alan Marron is back to preview the first meeting at Dundalk Stadium for 2021.

Folks, we are back on the all weather at Dundalk Stadium on Friday and I am delighted to say we wont have to worry about the cold snap. Hopefully we can get a winner or two on the board nice and quick.  

Unfortunately due to Level Five restrictions the retail estate is now closed but don’t forget ye can catch all the offers and specials online on our website or by contacting our Telebetting team who would be more than happy to help.

3.55 5f Happy New Year From Dundalk Stadium Handicap (4yo+)

While he hasn’t won in nearly two years PRIMO UOMO looks to have plenty of solid formlines and could take advantage of what looks a weak race.

He hasn’t been seen since July and while it is likely he may need the run he looks attractively handicapped taking Dean Currans ten pound claim into the equation.

He finished four lengths behind Strong Johnson in a very competitive 38k handicap back in June last year and a return to anything like that form must see him go close here.

The last time we seen him at Dundalk he finished 11 ½ lengths behind the ill fated Sceptical and he was well fancied for that race considering he was only 5/1. He finished down the field in the Group Three Mercury Stakes at Dundalk earlier that season and he also has form when second to Blue Uluru trained by Ger Lyons.

He was rated in the 100s a couple of seasons back and he is now down to 88 and with Dean taking 10lb off his back that makes him one of the contenders here.

I would keep a close eye on the market as to what is expected but he could go very close with luck in running.

4.30 1m Join Us On Instagram @dundalk_stadium Claiming Race (4yo+)

I was quite taken by KNIGHT OF MALTA on his first run for Denis Hogan when he stayed on strongly in a maiden to finish third behind Wonder Elzaam and Mosala. This gelded son of War Front had some solid yardsticks in behind on that occasion and could be the answer here dropping down to claiming company.

This horse was formerly owned by Coolmore and trained by Aidan O’Brien so you would have to assume there is a fair amount of ability there. If you go back through his form you will see a line of form from Listowel where he finished second to Agitare but had Bluebeards Castle in behind and Bluebeards Castle has certainly improved on the all weather towards the back end of last year.

I think there could be a little more to come from this horse and without doubt if Denis Hogan can sweeten him up he could land this race in taking fashion. Much like the first race I would keep a close eye on the market to see what is expected.

Should be hard to keep out of the frame if he improves off the back of the maiden run.

5.00 1m Irishinjuredjockeys.com Handicap   (4yo+ 45-65)

Kyanna Van Beuren built up a nice relationship with MURAAHIN on its first three runs on these shores after being acquired out of the Jamie Osborne stable and really caught the eye when finishing third behind St Georges Head back on the 16th November last year.

This horse has been steadily improving and has finished third and second on his last two runs suggesting that a victory is not far away.

Sam Ewing has been on board the last twice and maintains the partnership here and with a decent draw in stall one he should be able to get a decent position and come through late and fast.

I would expect him to reverse the form with Kudbegood this time around even though the weights slightly favour the victor from last time.

On his UK form Muraahin was placed off a mark of 70 so if he gets luck in running here I would expect him to go very close.

5.30 7f Rated Race (4yo+)

In what looks one of the more trickier puzzles to try and solve on an excellent card FAAKIRAH comes into this race in form and unexposed compared to the rest of her rivals.

Her second to Whatarm last time out looks standout form in this race and with question marks surrounding many of the opposition in terms of trip she looks the viable betting proposition.

She was formerly trained by Saeed Bin Surror and owned by Godolphin in the UK and ran Jovial to a length and a quarter on her debut. Jovial is now rated 105 on the turf for Sir Michael Stoute.

Adrian Mc Guinness and Gavin Ryan had a cracking end to 2020 and I can see them picking up where they left home and getting Faakirah home in front this time around.

Should go very close here from a decent draw.

6.00 6f Follow Us On Twitter @DundalkStadium Maiden

It could be a quick double for Adrian Mc Guinness and Gavin Ryan as their filly by Awtaad, FARAAH makes her second appearance on the track.

She cost 200k and showed some sign of that ability when finishing fifth at Limerick on her debut behind Finest trained by Aidan O’Brien. The form isn’t overly strong with only the second and the eleventh coming out at winning since. What caught my eye is that she was well backed on her debut from 12s into 13/2 on the off so that suggests to me that her home work had been good and they expected a big run.

With normal improvement to come off the back of that she could be the type of filly that could turn out to be much better than what she faces this time around. It will be interesting to see what the market makes of her again.

She should be hard to beat.

6.30 2M Find Us On Facebook @DundalkStadium Handicap

SCHOLASTIC creeps in at the foot of the handicap for Joseph O’Brien and with Mikey Sheehy taking a valuable five pounds off her back she looks one of the main protagonists in this field.

She bounced back last time out to finish a creditable second at Dundalk after she pulled up at Aintree the time before over hurdles. Her second place last time out was behind a decent yardstick in Hannon and she has only gone up a pound in the weights for that run.

I have watched that race back on a couple of occasions and it looked a little bit of a fact finding mission to me. She was in rear for most of the race and I think this time around with the draw in her favour they could have her closer to the pace. She was pushed along a fair way out and to me she stayed on well for pressure.

She should run a massive race here and go very close.

7.00 1m 2f Crowne Plaza Hotel Dundalk Handicap (Div I)

Leanne Breen will be looking to get LATCHET back in form and looks to have a good opportunity here as her handicap mark looks attractive in terms of this race.

This mare steps back up in trip and she is eleven pound lower than her last winning mark and caught my eye with a very respectable run last time out just not having the necessary pace to challenge.

The last time she was successful it was over this trip and with Kevin Manning in the plate this time around connections are obviously hoping for a very big run.

This mare was Leannes first winner as a trainer and no doubt she will be hoping to get her head back in front sooner rather than later.

Has a solid each way chance in a trappy first division of a competitive handicap.

7.30 1m 2f Crowne Plaza Hotel Dundalk Handicap (Div II)

STARLIGHT RED has been running very well since joining her new yard from the stable of Leanne Breen and she goes back up a pound in the weights following a very near miss last time out when second to Gormanston.

This mare will have the assistance of Colin Keane and I would expect her to go very close on what will be her third run for new connections. A change of scenery can always do the trick for some horses but this mare looks to be in flying form and will surely get her head in front very soon.

She was a winner for Charles Hills in the UK but has been unlucky on a number of occasions over here. The draw has been kind to her and with luck in running I could see her going very close.

If she has improved from her last run she will take a world of beating here.

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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article