3.45 Gowran Park: Handicap, 7f
Strong and competitive handicap with some highly rated individuals in the line-up, though not all too many appear well handicapped. If Vastonea would have been showing any sort of form lately he would be interesting here, only 2lb above his Galway Festival winning mark, but the way he’s going at the moment, I’ll leave him alone despite a tasty price.
Ken Condon’s Strait Of Zanzibar is sure to run his race with conditions to suit. He’s rarely running a bad race but for that reason seems stuck in and around marks mid-80 which he may be able to win off, but everything has to fall right in order to do so.
Favouite Laviniad has been on the upward this season and may be able to overcome a big rise in the weights, however the drop to 7f is a concern. Have A Nice Day has also been progressive lately. A career best is required here, but clearly not out of this world with conditions sure to suit.
Bolger’s Wexford Opera ran well off bigger marks in Handicaps last year. He might be sharper after a poor seasonal debut run and has a chance off a good mark but his strike rate doesn’t instil much confidence.
This race is up for grabs for an improving sort, such as the only three year old in the line-up, Ger Lyons’ Dandyleekie.He was a smart juvenile, finishing 3rd behind Lucida in a very strong race twelve month ago.
He started his classic season in encouraging fashion when taking on older horses at Fairyhouse in a Condtions race. He finished last but was only 4l beaten by smart Tamadhor, who herself was a strong 6th in the Irish 1000 Guineas, and only two lengths behind a good 98 rated individual.
Dandyleekie drops into handicaps for the first time now and an opening mark off 91 seems fair. With the weight for age in his favour he should be a big runner, as natural progression may give him the edge against older and more exposed rivals.
Dandyleekie @ 13/2 Paddy Power – 5pts Win