6.30pm Dundalk Tips & Betting Preview 27/01/2017

Ten runners go to post for this valuable feature race at Dundalk racecourse worth an impressive €24,000. The handicap was won by Ringside Humour last year and Jim Bolger tries again with McGuigan this time round. The one mile contest will take a bit of getting. Read on for our full analysis, runner by runner guide and free tip for the race.

IN SUMMARY: It’s always very interesting when a trainer sends a horse to another country for one race and that is what Mick Appleby has done with Supersta. He isn’t coming over for the fun of it so one thing is for certain, he will be trying for his life. Preference goes to CHESTNUT FIRE who is a course specialist for the top trainer at the track, Mick Halford. He has never run a bad race here and with a good 5 pound claimer on board combined with a good draw, he looks the one to beat.

1 SUPERSTA – The big prize-fund has enticed UK trainer Mick Appleby to travel across the Irish Sea to have a stab at it. Colin Keane is one of the best jockey’s to have around Dundalk so it is an eye-catching jockey booking. Just doing the sums, third place here would just about cover the cost of sending the horse to Ireland so he clearly means business. The six year old comes here in good nick after a good second at Wolverhampton off a mark of 93 and he runs off just one pound higher here. Drawn well in Stall 3, he looks sure to give a very good account of himself.

2 CHESTNUT FIRE – Mick Halford has a 33% win strike-rate over the past two weeks and this two time course and distance winner looks sure to give another good account of himself even if the handicapper has had his say in recent starts. C.J. McGovern takes off a valuable five pounds and he travelled like a dream over C&D off this mark last time out but tired into 4th late on. C.J. possibly went pushed on too soon and he will be more patient this time round. His record around here reads 1-2-1-1-2-3-4 so he will take a bit of beating once more.

3 RED AVENGER – Trained by Damien Joseph English, this progressive seven year old has notched up three course and distance victories on the trot in the hands of Rory Cleary. A neck was the margin between him and The Mouse Doctor earlier this month off a mark of 86 so life will be much tougher off 92 today but Pat Smullen is booked for the ride and the best jockey in Ireland is value for a few lengths. Good low draw and another with a live chance.

4 ISHEBAYORGREY – Eight victories from his thirty-four starts to date, a fine servant to connections. A Dundalk course specialist, he won here in December off a mark of 82 with Chestnut Fire back in third. However, he was in receipt of 11 pounds from the Halford horse on that occasion for a one length beating so he will struggle to maintain that form five pounds worse off at the weights this time round.

5 NORTHERN SURPRISE – Behind Ishebayorgrey and Chestnut Fire when last seen here earlier in the month, not beat too far back in sixth place. That was just his second run of the season so there could be better to come but his best handicap success came off a mark of 81 so he might find one or two too good again off a three pound higher mark.

6 ELUSIVE GUEST – Adrian Keatley has been quiet for some while and doesn’t usually have too many winners on the Dundalk all-weather track. This horse has a tough position to come out of the gates’ from in Stall 10 and he was well beat by a couple of his rivals earlier this month. That was his first run back after a break and he isn’t harshly treated off a mark of 83, a mark he won a Chelmsford handicap off of when trained by George Margarson in 2015.

7 RECKLESS LAD – One of two runners for Patrick Martin in the field but this thoroughly exposed course and distance winner has run fifty-one times and might not have the legs to see off a fresher horse. He has been ultra-consistent since November, notching up three places and a 4th from his last four starts at Dundalk. He runs off the same mark, cheekpieces and tongue-tie remain on and he has a good draw in Stall 2 so he should be there or thereabouts.

8 SECRET WIZARD – Sole success came in a soft ground handicap at Galway back in September. Only a four year old, he has plenty of scope for improvement and he was runner up here in October and November, three lengths behind Chestnut Fire in receipt of four pounds on the latest occasion. He gets nearly a stone from that rival now so must enter the equation off the back of that form.

9 GEOLOGICAL – Subject to a gamble nearly every start this season for Damien Joseph English, landing one of them off a mark of 75 in December when backed from 20/1 into 8/1. Very well backed again last time out over six furlongs but he could only muster up 4th to Ellaria. Doesn’t look like a horse that stays a mile, struggles to get seven furlongs so he would be a surprise winner here for us even if he is off a decent mark.

10 MCGUIGAN – Jim Bolger won this race with Ringside Humour last year and Rory Cleary takes the mount on this horse who carries bottom weight for the valuable handicap. It’s very hard to make a case for this runner. Victorious twice from twenty-four starts, he hasn’t been anywhere near the places on his last seven starts since his Leopardstown win in the summer and he will need to show a lot more improvement to win this.

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