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Weekend Review and Dundalk Thoughts

Morning all,

I wasn’t going to do a Monday column this week. However, there’s some decent action at Dundalk this afternoon and I have done more work on my York Ebor Festival Preview than expected. So rather than overwhelm you with too many thoughts I have split it into two columns.

Inside today’s main piece you read my thoughts on last weekend’s action. Plus, I preview a couple of competitive looking handicaps at Dundalk.

As I mentioned in Saturday’s column. Jockey Connor Beasley has a great record in the Great St Wilfrid Handicap. He enhanced it on Saturday with a fourth win in the race on the Tracy Waggott trained Intrinsic Bond. A simple angle for the Great St Wilfrid just back whatever Connor is riding as he’s only been out of the first four once on his eight rides in the race.

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Hopefully some of you had him on your shortlist. I ended up just having him and Snash as my race picks for Victor Value subscribers.  It proved to be a very profitable Saturday with Documenting proving too strong for his rivals in Newbury’s 7f handicap. Saturday set me up nicely for York and hopefully a profitable Ebor Festival.

Great St Wilfrid Handicap

Always handy on the near side Intrinsic Bond was on the right side of the track and in the ideal position to go for home 2f out.  

It was good to see a small yard land a big prize. Tracy Waggott doesn’t have many horses in her County Durham yard, but she’s already showcased her talents with handicap sprinters this season with the admirable Ghathanfar who has won three handicap sprints this season and bids for another at York on Tuesday.

Summerghand did best of the group of four that went far side and finished a creditable 4th.

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Well backed 3/1 favourite Blackrod disappointed but he wasn’t knocked about once his chance had gone. He needs more ease in the ground than he got on Saturday. Third in last season’s Ayr Silver Cup that meeting will once again likely to be on his agenda.

Snash the one to take out of the race.

I wondered if the track would suit Snash and despite a good run, I’m not sure it did. He was slowly away which didn’t help his cause and he also didn’t get the best runs 1f out. However, he was doing his best work at the finish. He’s the one I will be taking out of the race with Ayr’s Silver Cup looking an ideal race target the 4-year-old.

Jumby gains well deserved Hungerford success

The feature race of Saturday Newbury’s Group 2 Hungerford Stakes went the way of Jumby. The 4-year-old wasn’t the best away. However, they went a good gallop which suited him well. Plenty were still in with a chance coming to the final furlong, but Jumby burst between rivals, and they couldn’t live with his change of gear inside the final furlong.

Pogo couldn’t get his own way out in front as he and Dubai Poet took them along at a good clip. The latter did well to hold on for second while Pogo was disgraced back in 5th. There should be another day for the runner-up.  As there could be for third Wings Of War who showed he stayed 7f.

The well fancied Tiber Flow was disappointing back over 7f. Another to run below par was my pick Chindit who only beat one home.

Inspiral bounces back

Inspiral bounced back from a disappointing run in the Falmouth Stakes to win yesterday’s Group 1 Jacques le Marois at Deauville.  It was a hard-fought success for the filly who found plenty for Frankie Dettori’s urgings to hold off Light Infantry and Erevann close to home.

The runner-up Light Infantry likely improved on his recent second to Tenebrism in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat.  He’s not had much racing and should make up into a good 4-year-old. Mind you he probably wants ground that’s no quicker than good to run to his best.

The third Erevann lost his unbeaten record, but this was a personal best from the son of Dubawi who ran like he’ll be worth a try over further than a mile.

The disappointments of the race were 2.000 Guineas winner and race favourite Coroebus and State Of Rest.

Coroebus travelled well through the race, but he faded 1f out. Bring charitable its possible he needed his first run since Royal Ascot. He hadn’t the most ideal preparation for the race and isn’t one to totally give up on.

State Of Rest struggled dropped back to mile and only managed to beat one home. Connections must be regretting dropping him in trip when he could have gone to York for this week’s Juddmonte International at York. Back to 1m 2f should see him in a much better light.

Monday Racing

Showers are due around England later today with the present heatwave set to come to an end. That’s enough to put me off today’s action this side of the Irish Sea. Thankfully there’s several competitive handicaps at Dundalk this afternoon. The best of them is the Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Red God” Handicap (4:40) which has €50,000 in guaranteed prize money.

Dundalk

4:40 – Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Red God” Handicap – 1m 2 ½ f

Fourteen are set to go to post for the day’s feature race. It should be a run at good pace and could suit those ridden more patiently.

Ides Of August won this last year off 7lb lower. Form on turf this season hasn’t been great though and the first-time blinkers need to perk him back to form.

Bowerman is a four-time winner around here, including 3-6 over C&D. He’s another who’s been struggling on turf this season. Needs a return to the all-weather to have the desired effect. If it does, he’s very well treated on the best of his course from.

Isle Of Sark ran Bowerman to nose over C&D in February. He’s got a few pounds to find at the weights today with Bowerman and has run poorly on turf on his last two starts.

No issues with the current well-being of Snag It, Eighty Eight, Catena Zapata or Saraqael.

Snag It posted a career best on RPR’s when winning at Tipperary (1m 1f) 10-days ago. He’s got a 6lb rise in the weight to defy but is inform and won on the all-weather in France. High on the shortlist.

Eighty Eight has been in great form this season on turf winning at Gowran Park in June and was ½-length 2nd of 13 at Naas two weeks ago. All weather debut and if he’s as effective on the synthetics should go close.

Catena Zapata’s form figures at Dundalk are7131. The latest of those wins came here in February (1m) from 7lb lower. Back to form when a length fifth of 11 at the Curragh in June. He wasn’t well placed in a steadily run race that day and did well to finish as close as he did. A better run race will suit the 4-year-old and he’s one to be positive about back here.

Saraqael is the most interesting of the fourteen runners on his handicap/all-weather debut. The 3-year-old handled the soft ground very effectively when winning a Galway maiden 16-days ago. The extended mile looked a bare minimum that day and there should be more to come over today’s distance. Looks nicely treated and if he handles the surface (half-brother won at Chelmsford) should go there or thereabouts.

Verdict: The return to C&D could see the well handicapped Bowerman bounce back to his best. Eighty Eight, Snag It, Catena Zapata and Saraqael all come into the race in better form than Bowerman and have strong claims.

4:10 – One Racing Mourne Handicap – 6f

Harry’s Bar is a standing dish around here with form figures of 11321411. Carried 10-5 to win here last month (5f). He’s got 5lb more to carry today but he had a bit in hand the last day and its fair to say he’s Group level sprinter on the synthetics and will be tough to beat despite his welterweight.  

Strong Johnson has yet to win on the all-weather and maybe better over 5f. However, there was plenty to like about his 2 ¾ lengths 3rd of 9 to Big Gossey at the Curragh (5f) on his stable debut and belated seasonal return 9-days ago. Arcanears isn’t badly treated on his first run on the all-weather since December. The three-time C&D winner gets the first-time blinkers and must come into consideration

Final Voyage was a five-time winner on the all-weather for previous trainer James Tate. Made nice debut for Johnny Murtagh when a 2-length 5th of 17 at Cork (7f) in April. First run since Cork and all his successes have come over further than 6f.  He should win races for his new yard, but i'm not sure about the drop back to 6f.

The biggest danger to Harry’s Bar could come from stablemate Dream Today. The 7-year-old hasn’t been in much form on turf this season but he’s back on the all-weather for the first time since winning over C&D in December off today’s mark (Arcanears 2 ¼ lengths back in 4th). At his best over 6f when coming off a strong pace and he should get his ideal pace set up here.

Verdict: Despite his big weight Harry’s Bar is a worthy favourite and the one to beat. Dream Today should get the race run to suit and is each way value with four places on offer.

Monday Selection:

Despite the attractions of the “Red God” Handicap today's selection is from the 4:10 at Dundalk.

Dundalk

4:10 – Dream Today – 14/1 @ Bet365 (paying 4 places).

Good luck with your Monday bets.

John

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