7.30pm Dundalk Tips & Betting Preview 03/02/2017

An interesting eight runner handicap is the sixth race of the day at Dundalk on Friday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: Although on the bare form he doesn’t look interesting, PATRICK is now only 1lb above his last winning mark and considerably lower than what he has been in the past. Considering he has run well off marks of 89 on the All Weather, a mark of 80 should by no means be beyond him as he has his first run for trainer Richard O’Brien, who had his first winner recently. He’s a very interesting contender and is worth siding with today to get the better of the frustrating Split The Atom, who continues to disappoint at present.

1 SHEPHERD’S PURSE – In good form of late with two second places in his last three runs, including his penultimate start here when ravelling well throughout before little in the closing stages when challenged after hitting the front (7f, Std). The same was the case over C&D on his latest start when travelling well again before finding little to nothing when asked the question, and on that evidence going back down in trip should help. Yet to win on the all weather though and 2-21 overall which tempers enthusiasm, and hard to give him any more than place claims.

2 CAPTAIN CULLEN – Ran well over seven furlongs here four starts ago when a close second, beaten only by a nose but has been poor the last thrice. He’s been beaten with relative ease on all three occasions including on his latest start when fifth here in January, though the handicapper refuses to relent and keeps him on the same mark again. Probably needs to be let down another couple of pounds before he can be considered though if back to the form of his run here four starts ago he’d be a creditable each way threat.

3 GEOLOGICAL – Raced three times in January, progressing well before hitting his peak to win here over the mile trip a week ago. Drops back in trip which shouldn’t be a problem as he’s a course and distance winner but he’s paid the price for his latest win as he’s up 4lb. Has won off this mark in the past but that was way back in 2014 and he’ll need another jolt of progress if he’s to be considered for win purposes today. Likely to be involved for the placings but there is a suspicion that this weight is slightly above what he can handle.

4 PATRICK – Had been a no show for his past seven runs for Richard Fahey but has now joined the Richard O’Brien yard, with the trainer having his first winner recently. This five year old however is now only 1lb above his last winning mark and is considerably lower than what he was for much of 2016. He competed in some very competitive races in 2016 to and has run well off a mark of 89 in the past, so a mark of 80 should by no means be beyond him. He has to be considered very dangerous off this mark and is worth siding with today with a 10lb claimer on board.

5 SPLIT THE ATOM – Frustrating sort who is very well handicapped now 8lb below his last winning mark, but it is now nine races without a win for him  and though he usually goes close at his best, he doesn’t seem able to get his head in front. His penultimate effort in early January would bring him into the frame for the minor honours but he remains vulnerable for win purposes and has been beaten favourite the last twice. Likely to be running on at the finish but hard to trust he’ll get his head in front when it matters.

6 BURN THE BOATS – Has been struggling on the all weather this winter, though he showed a bit more promise when fifth here over the mile in January (1m, Std). He travelled well that day and the drop back to this trip may well help him finish off his races as that’s what he’s struggled with at longer trips. Now 24lb below his last winning mark and is clearly dangerously handicapped if he was to spark back into action and can’t be completely discounted, though others have far more interesting claims as he does look regressive.

7 MO HENRY – Ran a good race to finish second here over C&D in December which was a good effort but was found out when upped in class last time out and brushed aside over the same C&D in January (6f, Std). This is arguably a better race and he’s still 3lb above his last wining mark so in all likelihood he may well struggle again. If upping his game he could have place claims as many of these have question marks against them, but he’s definitely vulnerable for win purposes.

8 THE BURNHAM MARE – All four career wins have come at the five furlong trip, so she has questions to answer now upped to six furlongs. Her last win came at Chelmsford in August off a 1lb higher mark (5f, Std) and she hasn’t necessarily been disgraced on all her starts to date at the six. She’s been poor the last twice though including over five furlongs here a week ago and its hard to make a case for her today with all things considered.

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