After what was an excellent day on Thursday we struggled on Friday with the best being a couple of our selections being non runners. It looks to be all about Dermot Weld and Colin Keane on Saturday and hopefully they can get a winner or two on the board.
Scroll down to check out my selections
12.50 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF MAIDEN 1M
Barrier trails at Dundalk have paved the way for plenty of success in maidens so far this season and the Dermot Weld trained GOLDEN BEACH could be another one to profit from a run around Dundalk Stadium.
Many of ye will know how sweet I was on Amortentia before it made its debut and it ran well to finish second but that was the barrier trial that Golden Beach came out of.
A never nearer third given a very educational ride and will have surely learnt plenty from an outing to the track.
Even though the top two horses in the market here have race experience, Golden Beach is really nicely bred and it wouldn’t surprise me if it gave the others plenty to think about.
1.25 IRISH INDEPENDENT ON SATURDAY MAIDEN 1M
It could be a quick double for Colin Keane and Dermot Weld as SHERKIN ISLAND looks to have a really strong chance here from a nice draw in stall two.
The form of its debut run at the Curragh has worked out really well with the second Citronnade going on to win twice since while the winner that day was Wild Dollar who has since run well in a decent handicap.
There is no doubt that Sherkin Island will improve off its first run where he just struggled to see out the mile and a quarter. I think the drop back in trip here with a stiff finish should see him in a much better light.
Will take plenty of beating and will be my NAP on Day Six.
2.00 O’LEARY INSURANCES HANDICAP 1M
Daniel King and Denis Hogan went close earlier in the week with Turbine and they combine here again, this time with CYRUS DALLIN who really caught the eye last time out under Izzy Clifton.
This horse wasn’t beaten far in a decent handicap at the Curragh on his penultimate start but ran a very encouraging race when short of room last time at Killarney but stayed on nicely in a race won by Roca Roma.
He is dropping down the weights and the fact that Daniel will claim ten pounds off his back leaves him really nicely weighted.
If he gets some luck in running here then I would expect him to be fighting it out in the finish. The slight worry I would have would be him seeing out the mile but if he travels away he might be able to produce him late with one run.
Should be tough to keep out of the frame.
2.35 GALWAY SHOPPING CENTRE HANDICAP 1M
Dermot Weld and Colin Keane will be looking for a treble on the card with ALPINE SIERRA and they will have every chance to do so with this handicap debutant.
I was at Dundalk Stadium when this gelding last ran and he done well as he could to finish third to a very impressive winner in River Eden.
River Eden could be a potential Group performer so to finish third behind her wasn’t a bad run at all.
A handicap mark of 78 may underestimate Alpine Sierra a bit as there will be no doubt that River Eden could get into the high 90s. That third maiden run could have set him up nicely for this race and there is no doubt the master of Rosewell House may have had this as a plan.
Will be tough to keep out of the frame here.
3.13 IRISH EBF AUCTION SERIES MAIDEN 7F
Drawn here in stall one the Gavin Cromwell trained BASIA makes plenty of appeal having caught the eye on debut at Leopardstown when ridden by Wayne Lordan.
She finished sixth on that occasion but found plenty of traffic up the home straight and wasn’t beaten far in the end.
It is interesting that Wayne keeps the mount here and the fact that she gets weight from the top two in the market I think she could be one to keep a very close eye on.
It may not have been the strongest maiden considering a 50/1 shot won the race but I would be happy to take a chance on this filly improving off the back of it.
Should be tough to keep out of the frame here.
3.48 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF NURSERY HANDICAP 7F
This could be the four timer on the day for Colin Keane and Dermot Weld as the application of first time blinkers aboard BARUD could make all the difference and he could finally get his head in front.
He looks to have the strongest form in the book considering he finished fourth behind Point Lonsdale at the Curragh on his penultimate start and that horse has since gone on to land a listed contest at Royal Ascot and a Group Three at Leopardstown.
Many will question the attitude of Barud and whether he actually puts it all in but I was taken with his run last time at the Curragh behind John The Baptist where he done all his best work in the closing stages.
If the blinkers work the oracle then he takes a world of beating here.
4.20 GALWAY SHOPPING CENTRE HANDICAP 1M 3F
A very tricky puzzle to try and solve here and it looks full of each way possibilities with the John Murphy trained SIONNACH EILE making his handicap debut off the back of a very tidy win at Sligo last time out.
He has progressed with each start, finishing third, second and then getting that elusive victory on the board.
The fact that he handles the ground and could improve again for the step up in trip, I would be keeping a close eye on the market to see how he fares.
He is a half brother to Swamp Fox who had a fondness for the Ballybrit venue and it would be no surprise of this horse was the same.
If he has progressed off his last run then he should give his a decent run at a double figure price.
4.50 MCDONAGH CAPITAL INVESTMENTS HANDICAP 1M 3F
Andrew Kinirons and Billy Lee team up with WE’LL GO AGAIN in the final race on the card and he looks one of the main protagonists in a tricky heat.
He is three pounds lower than when placed around this course back in October and has been in decent form over obstacles since.
The booking of Billy Lee suggests that connections have high hopes in this race and I think they could be rewarded.
His last run was finishing second behind Hallowed Star who followed up over hurdles here yesterday.
With luck in running I think this horse will be very tough to keep out of the frame.