Horse Racing Ireland has come to the aid of us beleaguered racing fans with the recent announcement that action will continue behind closed doors for the foreseeable. Joe Eccles has outlined the changed horse racing schedule over the coming weeks, including Thurles which features on ITV Racing this Saturday.
Never have we been as welcome to see racing from Dundalk as we will be this Friday. Here’s a look at four interesting contenders from the action, who form a 60/1 acca which can hopefully banish the blues in these peculiar times. We’ll have all our regular horse racing tips for you, as well as our Free Bets.
2.30 Dundalk: Yuften
Denis Hogan has plenty of course specialists in his yard, none more so than YUFTEN, who has seven wins from sixteen starts at Dundalk. He boasts an impressive record of five-from-six in Claiming company at the Polytrack venue, winning his last start in this grade back in November.
Choppier waters proved no impediment to further course success in December though. He stayed on well to defy a mark of 85 in a ultra-competitive seven furlong handicap then. Three starts since have fallen below that level, but they’ve all come in far deeper contests.
Considerably eased in grade, he stands a cracking chance of returning to winning ways. The nine-year-old has seventeen-pounds in hand over his nearest rival and has as many course wins as his nine rivals combined.
3.00 Dundalk: Juliet Rose
Only Mick Halford has had more winners at Dundalk over the past five years than Joseph O’Brien, despite the latter only being in the beginning stages of his training career. Fourteen of those one-hundred winners have come in 2020. The yard are operating at an impressive 22% strike-rate this term.
O’Brien was unlucky not to have another winner at the track in February with JULIET ROSE. His daughter of Camelot improved for the experience of her debut and a step up to ten furlongs when going down by a head to a short priced favourite on Valentine’s Day.
Inexperience cost the filly there, failing to get her head in front when the race was at her mercy. Given the improvement she showed from her first run though, she can be sure to progress once more on just her third racecourse start. She’ll be hard to beat if doing so.
4.00 Dundalk: Cautious Approach
A name many of you won’t have heard before, but he’s definitely one on whom to keep an eye. Donagh O’Connor made waves in the UK last year when riding six winners from just ten rides and he’s continued his fine form back in his native Ireland this term. He’s already had five winners, with the last three coming from his last six rides.
He was onboard the mare CAUTIOUS APPROACH when she scored gamely over track and trip in February. That was her fourth course victory, added to three previous wins in 2019, scoring despite meeting trouble two furlongs out.
She backed that effort up from six pounds higher a week later, finishing a half-length third in a deeper race. That was a career best effort on RPRs, but she remains on the same mark. Additionally, O’Connor returns to the saddle, claiming a valuable three pounds.
4.30 Dundalk: Major Power
Edward Lynam is one of the most underrated trainers in the land and has reaped the benefits of dropping his MAJOR POWER back to seven furlongs this winter. The gelding returned from a 132 day break with a narrow win from a mark of 55, shedding his maiden tag at the tenth time of asking.
The five-year-old shaped positively in his two subsequent starts before returning to winning ways in January. He followed a cosy success from a mark of 61 with two further victories under Shane Crosse.
He’s now rated twenty-four pounds higher than when making his return in December, but still looks ahead of the handicapper given his impressive recent run of four wins from his last six. Furthermore, a drop back to six furlongs looks a smart move judged on his latest success. His lead was reduced in the closing stages, having shown an impressive turn of foot to break clear.