We are back with the first Wednesday afternoon card of the Autumn/Winter series at Dundalk Stadium and it is a fascinating card with some interesting maidens and competitive handicaps. We had one winner on Friday night with Beleaguerment (10/1) coming home in front for us for the team of Shane Foley and James Mc Auley. I am looking forward to seeing Enjoytheslipstream run in the maiden at 4.30 and Newfoundland who has some strong breeding lines could be very tough to beat in the very next race. As normal it is a competitive card but hopefully we can get a couple of winners on the board.
3.30 DUNDALK STADIUM CLAIMING RACE (3yo+) Winner €5,900 14 runners 1m Standard RTV
Billy Lee and David Marnane will team up here with KOYBIG (33/1) and the return to this trip and track could change the fortunes of this horse.
He hasn’t won since July 2019 at Killarney but he has run some very creditable races on the all-weather and he could provide new connections with a lot of fun over the winter months should he be claimed following this race.
He is rated 63 on the all-weather and has a record of four wins, four seconds and a third from thirty two starts. His third to Tyrconnell and sixth to Alhaazm in consecutive starts over a mile at this venue read very well in the context of this race and from a nice draw in stall two I expect him to go very close.
I think tactics might be changed from his front running the last time he ran at Dundalk behind Sister Lola.
If he gets luck in running he will be very hard to keep out of the frame.
4.00 IRISHINJUREDJOCKEYS.COM HANDICAP (3yo+ 45-70) Winner €6,195 14 runners 1m Standard RTV
BROSNA EMPRESS (5/1) disappointed me on Friday but it is interesting that she returns here with Shane Foley aboard and blinkers applied for the first time.
On Friday I commented that seven furlongs was her ideal trip and that a mile would stretch her but now with blinkers applied she might just be able to settle and finish her race out better. She was second on her two starts prior to Friday night behind Lisabetta and Skontonovski and a return to something like that form would give her a strong chance in this race.
She will race of the same mark of 68 and with Shane on board from a decent draw she will be expected to go close. The one small niggling issue around this filly is that she has had fourteen starts and is still a maiden.
She would be a small each way proposition here in a very tricky handicap.
4.30 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF AUCTION MAIDEN (IRE INCENTIVE RACE) (2yo) Winner €8,850 7 runners 6f Standard RTV
Ronan Whelan and Andy Oliver team up here with ENJOYMYSLIPSTREAM (3/1) and if this filly can improve off the back of her debut run at Naas where she finished fourth behind Siesta Beach then she must go very close here.
She broke well from stall one on that occasion and travelled nicely behind the pace and tracked the winner Siesta Beach for most of the way, she was switched outside down the straight where she looked like she was going to get involved in the finish. She flattened out as they approached the line but she was the best of the newcomers and it was a very encouraging debut effort.
The all-weather surface could suit this strong travelling type and it would be no surprise should she get her head in front on second start.
She will be my NAP on the evening and I think she takes plenty of beating.
5.00 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF MAIDEN (2yo) Winner €8,260 8 runners 7f Standard RTV
While none of the runners in this race carry major entries the form of the Ballydoyle battalion could be key as NEWFOUNDLAND (5/2) makes his debut here.
This horse has some exquisite breeding lines being a brother to 7f-1m4f winner Snowfall. Snowfall was a three time Group One winner and produced a scintillating performance to land the Epsom Oaks by an ever widening sixteen lengths.
Newfoundland will likely appreciate further in time but it is interesting that he is making his debut on the all-weather suggesting that he may appreciate the surface and will no doubt improve for the run.
This maiden could be one that produces plenty of winners so could be worth watching for future reference.
I think Newfoundland looks one of the main betting propositions here and should be tough to beat.
5.30 HANDICAP (DIV I) (3yo+ 45-65) Winner €5,900 14 runners 7f Standard RTV
As I mentioned in recent previews James Mc Auley and Hilltop Racing are not afraid to have runners at Dundalk and had a nice double on Friday night with recent purchase Hightown Heights and Beleaguerment.
Their runner here CAESAR’S COMET (9/2) comes into this race in flying form and the return to seven furlongs will surely be in his favour. On Friday last he finished third behind Sunset Nova over six furlongs but was doing all his best work in the closing stages.
He was a course and distance winner off a mark of 62 when he dead heated with Sunset Nova. He gets into this race off the same mark and if anyone follows Hilltop Racing on social media they would have seen how fresh he was in their posts over the last couple of days.
Shane Foley has struck up a good partnership with this team and they could get another winner on the board here.
Will be hard to keep out of the frame with luck in running.
6.00 HANDICAP (DIV II) (3yo+ 45-65) Winner €5,900 14 runners 7f Standard RTV
ROSIE ROCK (11/4) looks a very interesting runner here for Colin Keane and Ado Mc Guinness on the basis of her third place finish behind Designer Cailin last time out on the 15th October.
She was slow away from the stalls and held up at the back of the field but travelled very strongly throughout the race and when asked for her effort up the straight she flew home up the inside and was very unlucky not to get up close home.
This time around she will race off the same mark but has a much better draw in stall three. I am encouraged by the fact that Colin Keane keeps the ride and if she improves off the back of her last run then she must go very close.
She was formerly trained by Natalia Lupini and this will be her fifth start for her new stable, they will surely find the key to her sooner rather than later.
She will be tough to keep out of the frame here.
6.30 CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL DUNDALK HANDICAP (DIV I) (3yo+ 45-65) Winner €5,900 14 runners 1m4f Standard RTV
Shane Foley could be in line for another winner on the evening as he partners CLEW BAY (7/2) for his boss Jessica Harrington.
This filly in the colours of Philip and Jane Myerscough has been very consistent in recent starts and stayed on strongly last time out when she finished third behind Cursory Exam. The handicapper has left her on the same mark and I think she could improve for the step up in trip and be very hard to beat.
She was a course winner on her penultimate start when she got the better of Firstman and Mokhles. That form has been boosted since with Firstman getting his head in front and Mokhles being placed twice since.
She is relatively lightly raced and there could be more improvement to come. She is really starting to come into her own on this surface and she could land a couple of these over the winter.
A big run will be expected here.
7.00 CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL DUNDALK HANDICAP (DIV II) (3yo+ 45-65) Winner €5,900 14 runners 1m4f Standard RTV
The final race of the night is the second division of the Crowne Plaza Hotel Dundalk Handicap and BORN LEADER (22/1) who I selected on a recent preview could very well get her head in front this time around.
It was her second start at Dundalk Stadium and she caught the eye staying on strongly to go fourth at finish behind Getaway Queen who is a decent yardstick at this course.
The handicapper has dropped her two pounds for that run and to me that seems quite lenient. The step up in trip looks sure to suit and with Gavin Ryan on board she could go close here. She finished second at Lingfield when formerly trained by Hughie Morrison but much like Rosie Rock earlier on the card, her stable will soon find the key to her and get her head in front.
Looks a solid each way proposition here.