We started the autumn/winter series at Dundalk Stadium with a flyer when we landed the first two winners on last week’s card courtesy of HMS Endeavour, trained by Aidan O’Brien, and Exquisite Acclaim ,trained by the very much in-form Jessica Harrington.
HMS Endeavour will be running in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.
None of the selections from last week finished any worse than 6th so check out for the extra-place races offered by Bar One Racing – they are listed below
We will be looking to get a couple of winners on the board this week so scroll down to check out my selections.
WE WILL BE BOOSTING THE PRICE of the FAV on the LIVE SHOWS in EVERY RACE at DUNDALK on FRIDAY
Also, WE ARE ARE PAYING AN EXTRA PLACE – I.E. 4 PLACES – in the following DUNDALK races
4.45 5f Donate To The Coast To Curragh Charity Cycle In Honour Of Pat Smullen Handicap (3yo+ 45-65)
A very interesting five-furlong handicap to start the card this week and my selection will be the David Marnane-trained POET’S PRIDE who will be ridden by Billy Lee.
This horse is two-pounds higher than his last winning mark, which was back in March when ridden by Billy. He ran an excellent race when fourth to Blastofmagic last time out over six furlongs.
He needs a strong pace to be able to travel into it and I think he will get that this time around. Billy gets a good tune out of him and, hopefully, he can get him in front at the right time.
In terms of form from his last run, the third horse, Drombeg Duke came out and franked the form by winning at Listowel this week. Poet’s Pride is weighted to go close from a decent draw.
He will be hard to keep out of the frame.
5.15 6f Floodlit Fridays At Dundalk Claiming Maiden (3yo+)
This is probably not the strongest race on paper and it should give ELOSO his best chance to finally come home in front.
He has some very solid course form from early in his career when he finished behind stablemate Benavente and the Ado Mc Guinness-trained Betrayed. He showed much more when second at Cork to an in-form mare She’s In The Game.
He then reverted back to type last time out when he was frustrating in a better race.
This is a massive drop in grade and I would be very disappointed if he doesn’t come home in front.
Should take all the beating.
5.45 6f Apprentice Handicap (3yo+ 45-75)
HODD’S GIRL was selected in our preview when she got her head in front last time out and I think she can follow up here under Mikey Sheehy.
She really impressed me with the way she travelled and then battled strongly when challenged late by Parkers Hill. She has been hit with an eight-pound rise in the weights but I think she could be improving and should go close.
She has a wide draw and that will be ideal as she needs to be dropped in and hope that the gaps appear up the straight. Much like Poet’s Pride earlier on the card, she needs a strong pace and plenty of luck in running.
She will be hard to keep out of the frame here.
6.15 7f Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden (IRE Incentive Race) (2yo)
The maidens on the card at Dundalk Stadium are normally very interesting puzzles to try and solve and this week looks no different.
The filly that has caught my eye in this race is the Joseph O’Brien-trained LIVIA CELESTE. Nothing went right for this filly last time when she finished third to Cairde Go Deo. The saddle slipped early in the race and she did well to finish so close in the circumstances.
The winner on the day went to the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes on her second start and started favourite but ultimately disappointed, while the second filly History went on to finish second to Panama Red next time out and that form got a real boost when Panama Red won at Leopardstown on Champions Weekend.
History went on to get her head in front on her third start and the form looks very strong. Livia Celeste has some barrier trial form around Dundalk where she finished fifth but I think she has improved since.
She will be my NAP on the card and I think she takes a world of beating.
6.45 1m2½f (1m2f150y) Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Diamond Stakes (Group 3) (3yo+)
The feature on the night is the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Diamond Stakes Group 3 and it could be a quick double for Joseph O’Brien as he sends unbeaten filly RIVER EDEN to post for this excellent contest.
She was the filly that really impressed me in the barrier trials that took place on the 28th June when she won in tidy fashion with Wrens Breath back in second. Wrens Breath went on to win the 50k Yeomanstown Stud Stakes listed race on her third start.
River Eden then appeared at Dundalk on the 12th July and I was on course to witness an electric performance. She absolutely bolted up by 8 ½ lengths on that occasion and I think she could turn out to be a very smart filly.
She is pitched into the deep-end here on second start but that just shows what connections think of her. The likes of Bowerman, Blenheim Palace and Mootasadir have won this race in recent years and she could be the first filly to get her name on that list.
While she will have to take on older horses, three-year-olds have a good recent record in this race and she will get a handy weight allowance and that should be more than enough to see her competitive.
7.15 1m2½f (1m2f150y) Crowne Plaza Hotel Dundalk Handicap (3yo+ 50-85)
This is a tricky-looking handicap but RAZDAN is going to be the selection here with Robbie Colgan on board for Matthew Smith and owners Royal Racing Club.
This horse was last seen in a maiden hurdle at Ballinrobe when third behind the Noel Meade-trained Too Bright. There was plenty of money around for him on that occasion when he was backed from an early morning price of 11/1 to 9/4.
The most interesting fact for me is that he was entered up in the 125k Petingo Handicap at Leopardstown over Champions Weekend but never got a run.
He has some course form when he finished second to Group One-placed A Case Of You in a barrier trial and then finished second to Irwin in a maiden.
He looks a solid each-way proposition here with luck in running.
7.45 1m4f Join Us On Instagram @dundalk_stadium Handicap (Div I) (3yo+ 45-65)
The penultimate race on the night is the first division of a competitive handicap and the John Morrison-trained PROFOUND could provide the solution here, having shown a willing attitude at Navan over hurdles on his last run when he got the better of Pretty Little Liar.
The one thing that impressed me when I watched the race back is that he travelled really strongly throughout the race and that is something that can carry you into a race around Dundalk.
Nikita Kane will take seven pounds off his back and he is nicely drawn in stall five. The trainer’s comments after the victory last time stated that they went to Navan for the good ground.
He could be a horse to keep on the right side of in the coming months now that he has got his head in front.
Will be tough to keep out of the frame should he handle the surface.
8.15 1m4f Join Us On Instagram @dundalk_stadium Handicap (Div II) (3yo+ 45-65)
The final race on this week’s card is the second division of the Join Us On Instagram @dundalk_stadium Handicap and the Sam Ewing-ridden CRACKAWAY is the one that catches my eye after a very good run last time out when he finished second to Trump Card at Down Royal.
This horse was formerly trained by Gordon Elliott and it might just be that a change of scenery can spark some life into him.
He got a three-pound rise in the weights for finishing second last time, and if he can improve off the back of that then I would expect him to go close here.
This will be his third run for the stable of Seamus Fahey and, with luck in running, he might get us some each-way money to end the night.