Yesterday afternoon at around 5pm I was pretty depressed…. but then came Dartmouth who got me out of the hole with his dominant success at Ascot. What started like a bleak day, ended in modest 10pts profit. Could have been better if not for hitting the post twice. Lightning Spear in particular was unlucky, as he ran into all sorts of trouble in the home straight.
3.45 Dundalk: Handicap (57-75), 7f
Good racing at Dundalk’s All-Weather today. The 7f handicap looks an intriguing contest. Favourite Ishebayorgrey has been a model of consistency and can race off the same mark as when he won a good 6f race at Leopardstown last month. Though he appears to be vulnerable over this trip; the additional furlong seems to stretch his stemina.
Some lightly raced and potentially well handicapped sorts can make their presence felt. Most interesting is Escapism on her handicap debut, however. The John Oxx charge has done not too badly in maiden races, most notably eleven days ago in a hot sprint. She travelled well but seemed to be out-sprinted in the closing stages.
She steps up to 7f now which should certainly suit on pedigree. Both sire and dam have won over this trip; in fact she is not badly bred at all. An opening mark of 66 is lenient in my eyes, given her most recent performance and the potential improvement to come over this trip. The All-Weather surface won’t be an issue either.
Escapism @ 7/1 Paddy Power – 5pts Win
4.15 Dundalk: Marshes Handicap, 5f
Ultra competitive race with plenty of pace – it should be fast and furious. You can’t discount anyone lightly here, but Ger Lyons’ Ardhoomey is particularly well fancied in the betting after a good performance in a hot Curragh Premier Handicap. He did well to finish 4th from the position he came from and gets help from the handicapper who drops him below a mark of 100 now: his wind problems in the past are a concern, though.
My Good Brother showed a return to form when an unlucky fourth at Fairyhouse. He is down to a handy mark and should go close. Lightly raced Urbestchance is interesting here, dropping in trip on her handicap debut. She is open to any amount of progress.
Old boy Russian Soul will have to overcome a wide draw in order to get to the front in a race where competition for the lead is likely to be fierce. The big weight is even more likely to stop him anyway. Prince Connoisseur hasn’t been any good this year so far but slipped down to a dangerous mark if back to his best.
I really do like Kimbay, who appears to be overpriced. She has been very progressive the last two seasons, and it didn’t stop this year as she got close on her seasonal reappearance and then took advantage of a drop to her prefered 5f trip at Tipperary. Forgive her last performance at the Curragh where she wasn’t in a good position.
She has been dropped 3lb for that and is now effectively only 4lb above her last winning mark. She could be still well in, particularly today where she is returning to Dundalk’s All-Weather. She is unbeaten in three starts over course and distance and should be a major player of her low weight here.
Kimbay @ 9/1 Bet365 – 5pts Win
4.50 Dundalk: Conditions Race, 1m 1f
Only three runners, and with Xebec exposed as a mid-80 rated handicapper, this should be a match between Outspoken and Don Camillo.
Outspoken was a fair runner-up behind stable mate Archangel Raphael. He is very lightly raced and open to further improvement, the switch to the All-Weather may not be an inconvenience. Says the slight drop in trip is not sure to suit given how one-paced he looked as well as easily outpaced one the tempo of the race increased turning for home. He’s clearly no superstar.
Dermot Weld’s Don Camillo was utterly disappointing last week in a listed event at Roscommon. However the race itself was a strange one, so was the ground. He was eased in the closing stages and may be better judged on what he did before. He wasn’t disgraced in Group company at Royal Ascot, and I liked what he did on the Dundalk All-Weather before.
He won here a maiden in great fashion and travelled all over older & more experienced rivals in a Handicap off a mid-90 mark the next time. He was outstayed eventually but should have learned plenty.
He was thought to be good enough to warrant an entry for the US Triple Crown series earlier this year, though he didn’t take it up eventually. Nonetheless quite well bred, by a Breeders Cup Classic winner, Don Camillo is likely to relish this trip and the surface. With a visor fitted for the first time, he can be sharper in the closing stages now.
Don Camillo @ 11/4 Sportingbet – 5pts Win