Pretty good race for a dreary Tuesday night on the Dundalk All-Weather. Some good sorts with top form going to post – a tight finish can be expected!
Interestingly, the well fancied contenders have all one thing in common: They all won over further the last time and drop down to seven furlongs. With the exception of Ishebayorgrey who won over 6f recently and found further trips stretching him.
Against those runners, the Ger Lyons trained Cape Wolfe appears to be overpriced. He performed well in a couple of hot maidens last season and was only beaten in the final strides when last seen at Gowran Park, while travelling really well. This form works out really well and despite a 2lb rise in the mark, on balance Cape Wolf could be a bit better than that.
The switch the All-Weather should be fine and a good draw gives him every chance to be well positioned. He can make his experience count and is a better chance than his price tag suggests.
Dundalk last night has been great! As always – I have to say. It never disappoints. Of course it helps if your 10/1 selection goes in, though! It was my third visit to Ireland’s only All-Weather track. The course is often hailed by trainers for its consistently excellent surface. Well maintained, not much kick-back, and with the false rail installed it is a fair track to race on these days.
Punters alike favour the track because the form stands up and most importantly you can see some good horses in action as well, usually in the feature race on the night. So happened yesterday, as outlined in my preview. The Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Race saw some really nice sorts going to post and it promised to be a real cracker. It didn’t disappoint! A three runner photo finish – exciting stuff!
Postulation held on to win it for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen. He finished a good runner-up behind subsequent John F Kennedy conqueror Success Days – so no surprise to see him going close here. Favourite Queen Nefertiti finished only third – but she should come on for the run and looked well in the parade ring before, like a filly that has clearly trained on.
Runner-up The Happy Prince for Aiden O’Brien in hands of his son Joseph travelled like the winner until the furlong marker, but didn’t quite find enough in the end. Yet he followed-up with a good performance on his recent Limerick success and is a nice type for the future.
Shannon Soul was beaten in fourth but was clearly the most impressive individual in the parade ring. Put him in your tracker, he may be able to win a nice race soon.
Kilimanjaro was a nice winner for the O’Brien team in the last race on the card. He contested in two hot maidens last season, showed himself much improved on his second start back then, but really made visually a good impression here at Dundalk in the parade ring. He won the maiden over the extended 10f trip in good fashion, really seemed to get rolling in the closing stages. He has a Derby entry. You wouldn’t expect him to be good enough. But the first time hood helped and sometimes these O’Brien horses can improve explosively, as we all know.
Personal highlight on the card was undoubtedly the win of Iron Major. If you read my preview yesterday, you know I tipped him to win at 10/1 – and he obliged duly. Inexperienced 10lb claimer Oisin Orr delivered a confident ride from the back of the field and went through an open gape 2f out. Iron Major found plenty when asked for an effort and was clearly well handicapped, as imagined beforehand.
I’ll be on my way to Dundalk today – for their weekly Friday night meeting. It’s far from a high class card, but I really like the track. A fair All-Weather surface, excellent facilities and a relaxed atmosphere. That’s all I need to be happy.
The feature on the card is the 7.35 Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Race for three year olds. A really good race one has to stay – the stand-out race by a mile this evening. There are a couple of promising individuals in the line-up, none less than the favourite Queen Nefertiti. She made a big impression when last seen at Leopardstown. O’Brien’s colt The Happy Prince won a maiden recently, while looking still very green. He’s a nice prospect, but that can be said about each and every runner. Great race!
Betting wise, I’ve serious interest only in one race – the 7.05 Handicap over seven furlongs. It looks open enough but I do feel veteran Iron Major is hugely overpriced at 10/1 – if he is fit on his seasonal debut. He’s down to a very low mark now, and has additional assistance of a 10lb claimer. Without coming close to win in his last eight starts, he performed with credit of much higher marks nonetheless.
In this modest field he is one who is proven over course and distance and has a very good chance to go close in my mind. That says only if he is fit enough for his first start in 2015. Concern is that his trainer hasn’t hit any sort of form yet. But I’m prepared to take the risk as Iron Major is more like a 5/1 chance in this field for me.