What a week it has been for the selections at Dundalk Stadium, with 6 winners from the last two meetings. Long may it continue!
Chris Hayes was in flying form on Wednesday when he landed a treble, and he could start Friday where he finished off with another winner, this time in the Juddmonte colours for Dermot Weld.
I am looking forward to seeing Johnny Murtagh’s filly in the second race on the card as she has very strong form and, with that aside, the rest of the card is quite competitive.
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4.00 1m Irish Stallion Farms EBF (C & G) Maiden (2yo)
GOLDEN BEACH looks a very interesting runner for the team of Chris Hayes and Dermot Weld in the Juddmonte colours.
This colt will have blinkers applied for the first time and it could make all the difference. He finished third at Galway on debut behind Buckaroo and a reproduction of that form would see him go very close.
His last two runs were quite lacklustre, but they were on softer conditions and a return to this track could see him in a better light. He finished third of nine in a barrier trial behind Amortentia so the all-weather shouldn’t be any issue.
While he is beginning to look exposed, he sets a good standard of form and should be tough to keep out of the frame.
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4.30 1m Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden (IRE Incentive Race) (2yo)
Johnny Murtagh and Niall Mc Cullagh team up here with MAEVE OF CONNAUGHT and this filly is going to take a world of beating if she is ready to go off a break.
She ran in a barrier trial on the 28th June where she finished eighth, but she improved off the back of that initial experience when finishing third to Corviglia and Limiti Di Grecio.
That form has received numerous boosts most notably by Corvigia and Limiti Do Grecio, who have been placed in Listed company since. Corviglia went on to finish fourth in the Star Appeal Listed race, and that form got a huge boost when Star Girls Aalmal ran out a convincing winner on Wednesday.
The form of Maeve Of Connaught’s maiden looks very strong as the 1st, 2nd 6th and 9th have all won since.
I think she could be a very smart filly and will take plenty of beating. She will be my NAP on the night.
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5.00 7f Rated Race (3yo+)
This race looks very competitive and I am looking forward to BENAVENTE’s return for his three year old campaign.
He was third behind Visualisation at the end of January over the same distance of 7f that he will race off this time around, and he followed that up with a tidy victory, seeing off Devil’s Outlaw in impressive fashion.
He was then seen in the Listed Patton Stakes, where he was one of the market leaders but flattened out behind My Generation to finish fifth. When Shane Foley was on board for the maiden victory he mentioned that the gelding was still a baby and that provides me with plenty of enthusiasm here considering that he may have strengthened from two to three.
He will have to come here fit to justify a 259-day layoff but I think he could be very smart.
I would keep a close eye on the market but he will be tough to keep out of the frame.
5.30 7f View Restaurant At Dundalk Stadium Handicap (3yo+ 45-70)
James Mc Auley got another winner on the board at Dundalk on Wednesday with Timourid and the team might be in the winner’s enclosure again with MALAYSIAN.
This filly finished third behind Sense Of Romance last time out over a mile and the drop back to seven furlongs could see her in a much better light. Daniel King will claim seven pounds off her back and that will leave her very attractively weighted, having been dropped two pounds for her last run.
She was formerly trained by Jessica Harrington and ran over this course and distance when she finished third to Hightown Heights and Sister Lola, who are now her stablemates.
She has had three starts on the all-weather and has failed to finish outside the first three and, from a decent draw in stall three, she should go very close.
With luck in running she will be very hard to keep out of the frame.
6.00 6f Crowne Plaza Hotel Leading Jockey & Trainer Championship Handicap (3yo+ 45-65)
This race was one of the trickier races on the card to try and solve but, on handicap marks, it may pay to side with IT’S ALL A JOKE who will be ridden by Siobhan Rutledge for her boss John Mc Connell.
This horse was sixth behind Sunset Nova last time out but caught the eye even though he was only staying on at one pace. Siobhan was victorious aboard this horse at Fairyhouse back in July off a mark of 48 and he will get in here off 45 with Siobhan claiming five pounds.
While there won’t be much improvement to come from this horse, many of the likely market leaders look to have a wide draw and could struggle to hold a position.
It,s All A Joke is drawn seven and could track the pace and, hopefully, run on into a place. A small each-way play for me at a big price.
6.30 1m4f Join Us On Instagram @dundalk_stadium Handicap (3yo+ 45-70)
John Mc Connell could be in line for a quick double on the card as he holds a strong hand in this race with No Trouble and my selection DULEEK STREET.
This horse is very lightly raced but showed improved form when finishing second to Shamardalah last time out over the same track and trip that he will face this time around. He has only been raised a pound for that performance and that for me is quite lenient, to say the least.
He is only a three year-old in the field and should have plenty more to come over this trip. Ben Coen, who was on board last time, will keep the mount so he will know what to expect and will be trying to get the best out of this horse.
Will be tough to keep out of the frame with luck in running.
7.00 1m2½f (1m2f150y) Book Online At DundalkStadium.com Handicap (Div I) (3yo+ 45-65)
We finish the night with two divisions of a handicap over a mile and a quarter. Luke Comer has his team in flying form and got another winner on Wednesday night when Bradesco gunned down No Trouble in the dying strides under Chris Hayes.
DR PATRICK will be his representative this time around and, with Wayne Lordan aboard, connections could be expecting a decent run.
He returned off a 66-day break to finish fourth to Limit Long last time out, and if he can improve off the back of that run then I would expect him to be involved in the finish.
He will run off the same mark that he did last time around so he looks a solid each-way proposition here.
Keep an eye on the market but I think he will be tough to keep out of the placings.
7.30 1m2½f (1m2f150y) Book Online At DundalkStadium.com Handicap (Div II) (3yo+ 45-65)
The second division, and final race on the card, could provide somewhat of a shock with my selection SPECKLED MEADOW landing the prize.
This filly showed improved form on her final run for Sheila Lavery last time out when she finished seventh behind Kudbegood. She was caught in traffic on that occasion and it will be interesting to see what new connections can do with her.
The booking of Andy Slattery catches the eye on first start for Garrett Ahern and, while there is no doubt this filly may need to show some improvement, it is not beyond the realms of possibility.
She would be a small each-way selection at a double-figure price, but she could well feature in the finish.