We are back folks with more Friday action at Dundalk Stadium. We have a double header of listed race action on the card with the Legacy Stakes and the Star Appeal Stakes. We also have the typical competitive handicaps so hopefully we will be able to get a winner on the board. We struggled to get a winner on the board last Friday so we need to make up for that this time around.
Check out my selections below and don’t be afraid to call into your local Bar One Racing shop and avail of the specials ahead of Fridays card.
4.45 (3yo+) Winner €7,965 8 runners 5f Standard RTV
This race should be between Harrys Bar and THE HIGHWAY RAT based on the ratings and I will go with the latter due to the fact that he could still be improving.
He really impressed me back on the 12th July when he seen off Lippizaner by 3 ¼ lengths over the same trip as this time around. He stepped up to six furlongs on the 15th August and ran far too free and ultimately disappointed in a decent race behind Angel Palm.
I think the drop back in trip is really in his favour and he will be hard to stop. Harry’s Bar would likely be better over six furlongs but also ran in that race behind Angel Palm where he finished second. Ronan Whelan said that The Highway Rat was too keen early so the five furlongs should be ideal.
Will take plenty of beating.
5.15 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF LEGACY STAKES (LISTED RACE) (2yo) Winner €28,025 14 runners 5f Standard RTV
The first of the double header of listed races on a very good card and the Willie Mc Creery trained LOVEDAY looks the one to pay most attention to as she could have her own way in front and be tough to catch.
She hasn’t finished outside the first three in all six starts to date. She impressed at Cork when she got the better of Money Tree by an ever widening 4 ¼ lengths. She made her debut at Dundalk where she finished third to Lord Gorgeous but I think she is a much different filly now.
She is very quick from the gates and travels strongly; this is the type of race where she just might get away off the front. She has kept some very good company most notably when second to Head Mistress last time out at the Curragh.
She will be tough to keep out of the frame here.
5.45 MAIDEN (3yo+) Winner €7,080 8 runners 7f Standard RTV
This isn’t the strongest maiden that will be run at Dundalk over the Autumn/Winter and it may just suit THAT’S JUST DANDY trained by Patrick Turley and will be ridden by Robbie Colgan.
Much like Loveday in the previous race this horse adopted positive tactics at Bellewstown last time out when he was just caught on the run in behind Fictitious Lady and finished third beaten half a length.
While he made most of the running the fact that he rallied when the winner came to him showed to me that he has some tenacity about him. There could be a strong chance that connections attempt similar tactics here and try and make all the running.
He will have to give five pound to the fillies in the race and they look quite exposed in terms of form so I would be happy to take them on.
He may just be tough to catch should Robbie get the fractions right.
6.15 APPRENTICE NURSERY HANDICAP (2yo) Winner €7,080 8 runners 7f Standard RTV
This two year old nursery looks a very interesting race on paper and the Joseph O’Brien trained COMMON PRACTICE looks one of the main protagonists following a very eye catching run behind Aikhal at Listowel last time.
I have watched that race back on a number of occasions and Declan Mc Donogh gave him quite a sympathetic ride up the straight but he stayed on nicely. He was 125/1 on that occasion and he was likely going to learn plenty for the experience.
There is no doubt that once the penny drops there could be improvement to come. He holds an entry for Clonmel next week also so maybe connections are hoping that he can get his head in front and then go there.
Looks a solid each way proposition here and should go close with luck in running.
6.45 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF STAR APPEAL STAKES (LISTED RACE) (2yo) Winner €28,025 12 runners 7f Standard RTV
The feature on the night is the Star Appeal Stakes and I am really looking forward to see the Donnacha O’Brien trained ABSOLUTE RULER back on the all-weather.
I was on track when he made his debut and he really impressed seeing off Amortentia. He then ran at Leopardstown on Champions Weekend when I was again in attendance and he ran in snatches up the straight and could have been closer with luck in running but ultimately finished third.
I think there is no doubt he will improve again and will be a better three year old. His form from Dundalk on debut was franked on Thursday when Cryptos Dream won at Bellewstown. I think there is plenty more to come and if he came out of the Leopardstown run in decent form then he is going to take the world of beating and he will be my NAP on the card.
He is one that I will be keeping a close eye on for next season.
7.15 CROWNE PLAZA LEADING JOCKEY & TRAINER CHAMPIONSHIP HANDICAP (DIV I) (3yo+ 45-65) Winner €5,900 14 runners 1m Standard RTV
The typical tricky handicaps to conclude the card at Dundalk this week and an old favourite of mine will be the selection in division one. MACABAN CITY ran a very solid race under Izzy Clifton at Navan last time out when he finished 9th behind Jazzelle just beaten over six and a quarter lengths.
He’s quite tricky at the start of his races and likes to get left behind and then come through with a late run. Siobhan Rutledge got a decent tune out of him the last time he was seen on the all weather when he stayed on late to finish second to Mokhles off the same mark as he will race off this time around.
He tends to save his best races for Dundalk and with kid gloves handling he might just be seen to best effect. The wide draw will suit as he will have to be dropped in.
He would be a small each way bet in a tricky race but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him run well.
7.45 CROWNE PLAZA LEADING JOCKEY & TRAINER CHAMPIONSHIP HANDICAP (DIV II) (3yo+ 45-65) Winner €5,900 14 runners 1m Standard RTV
BROSNA EMPRESS deserves a change of luck after finishing second on three of her last four starts and with Scott Mc Cullagh taking five pounds off her back I would expect her to go very close.
This looks an easier race than when she was second to Skontonovski last time out. She is drawn in stall eleven and Scott should be able to drop her in and ride her for a bit of luck.
The stable of Jessica Harrington still remains in flying form and it wouldn’t surprise me if this filly finally got her head in front. Her nursery form behind Stop On Red would be more than enough to see her in contention.
It looks the stronger division of the two and while she wouldn’t be winning out of turn something may just prove to be better weighted.
8.15 HANDICAP (3yo+ 70-100) Winner €12,390 11 runners 1m4f Standard RTV
The final race of the night is a decent mile and a half handicap and Jessica Harrington could be in line for a quick double with BONTE MOI.
This filly was very impressive when landing her maiden victory at Gowran Park last time out when she got the better of her stablemate Goodnight Kiss.
That form has been franked since as Goodnight Kiss came out and won at Bellewstown on Wednesday. Bonte Moi has some very strong form most notably when fourth to River Eden at Dundalk and also ran in a barrier trial when third to Startedwithakiss.
I think she is the type of filly that will continue to improve with the step up in trip sure to suit. Looks a solid each way proposition and will be tough to keep out of the frame.