We are back on the all-weather and hopefully we can get a winner or two on the board.
We had an excellent Punchestown Festival and finished in profit for the week. Scroll down to check out my selections. ⬇️⬇️
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4.30 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF FILLIES MAIDEN 5F
Aidan O’Brien has his team in excellent form this season and has had some very smart two-year-old winners.
He is double-handed here but the one that catches the eye for me is HEART TO HEART (6-4) who is a half-sister to Group 1-winner Golden Horde.
She is related to plenty of speedy types so she could be one for Royal Ascot if she is successful here first time up. She cost 580,000 guineas and it will be interesting to see how she goes in the market compared to her stablemate.
I think she could be quite smart and should take plenty of beating.
UNFORTUNATELY, HEART TO HEART IS NOW A NON-RUNNER
5.00 CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL HANDICAP 5F
This doesn’t look a particularly strong race and the filly at the foot of the weights TASSEL FLOWER (20-1) could be worth following now that she races against her own age group.
She has gone the wrong way since finishing second to Zen Silence in a maiden and he is now rated 74 on the all-weather. I think she is much better than her rating suggests and racing against her elders was just too tough.
Her fourth to Maggie Thunder off a mark of 62 reads really well in terms of this race and she could go close at a big price.
I would keep an eye on the market but any double-figures could look too big closer to race time.
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5.30 CLAIMING RACE 6F
Much like the previous race this is not a strong race and one horse that might just get the run of it is the Anthony Mc Cann-trained ALHAJJAJ (50-1) with Annalise Cullen claiming ten pounds off his back.
This horse likes to get on with things from an early stage and, even though he is quite lowly rated, I think he has plenty of ability and likes to pop up at Dundalk now and again.
It is quite interesting that connections are dropping him down in trip from 1m plus to 6f. He has always shown plenty of early pace in his races and the fact that he stays further could benefit him.
Much like my previous selection, this horse will likely be a big price.
He is worth a small each-way play as he could run very well.
6.00 VIRTUAL LADIES DAY 12TH JULY HANDICAP 6F
David Marnane and Oisin Orr team up with POET’S PRIDE (7-1) and he looks one of the main protagonists in what looks a tricky enough puzzle to solve.
While he has done most of his running over 7f, he dropped back to 5f three runs back and got the job done in tidy fashion. The 6f trip could be absolutely ideal for this horse and the quicker they go the better it is for him. He likes to travel off a strong pace and get there on the bridle.
There looks to be plenty that might want to go forward here and I think that will suit him.
He will be very hard to beat with luck in running.
6.30 IRISHINJUREDJOCKEYS.COM HANDICAP 1M
Colin Keane keeps the partnership intact with INTERNATIONAL LADY (4-1) after the pair teamed up to come home in front down in Cork and she could get another victory on the board here.
She is up 9lbs for that victory but she won in very cosy fashion and there should be plenty more to come. She has some course form when she finished midfield behind Catherine Chroi.
I think she has improved plenty since that run and we might see a completely different filly this time around. Colin gets on well with her and she looks uncomplicated.
Will take all the beating here.
7.00 DUNDALKSTADIUM.COM HANDICAP 1M 4F
Joey Sheridan teams up with GETAWAY QUEEN (7-2) again at Dundalk after the pair combined for victory last time and they have a very good chance of following up here.
This mare comes here in top form after victory over hurdles at Wexford prior to her all-weather win. She is only a pound higher for her victory and that leaves her with a strong chance of a follow-up.
She was very professional last time as she travelled sweetly and then quickened nicely to win snugly. I think there is plenty more to come, and once a mare is in form she could take plenty of stopping.
She will be the NAP on the evening for me and should be hard to beat.
7.30 FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA MAIDEN 1M 2F
This race is centred mainly around Moktaffy, Malawi and BARON ZEE (11-4). Moktaffy is beginning to look a bit exposed while Malawi may improve plenty off the back of this run.
Baron Zee on the other hand started 33/1 for his debut but ran a cracker to finish third behind Dublin Journal and only a head behind Moktaffy. There is no doubt he will improve off the back of that run and, so long as the all-weather surface doesn’t present any issues, I could see him reversing the form with Moktaffy.
The form of that race has a solid look to it as the eighth horse home, Sir William Bruce, came out and won at Leopardstown last weekend.
Baron Zee won’t lack from the saddle with Ronan Whelan aboard and he should be hard to beat.