After all the excitement of ITV Racing this week, Sunday has a tough act to follow. There is some excellent racing at Naas with Royal Ascot clues abound as well as racing at Stratford and Ripon. It’s the card at Wexford, however, that really catches the eye.
John Joseph (Shark) Hanlon enjoyed a remarkable last season at Wexford, sending six runners to the track and returning with four winners and a second. He runs three on one card on Sunday which raises a few eyebrows when looking over the card for our free horse racing tips.
2.25 Wexford – Neville Hotels Handicap Hurdle Div I
Hanlon’s first runner on the card is Datsdacraic who makes his handicap debut. He shaped with only limited promise in three runs for a mark in the autumn, given a 185-day break ahead of this contest. Ridden by a seven-pound claimer in all three of those runs when held up, he gets Brian Cooper now starting out in handicaps.
The trip and ground look fine on what limited form is in the book. His dam was a bumper winner and placed in a number of hurdles, including a couple at this track when it went the other way around. The market will be the best guide to his chances here.
2.55 Wexford – Neville Hotels Handicap Hurdle Div II
Another handicap debutante comes up in the second division of the two mile hurdle in the shape of A Mere Bagatelle. He had just three runs for a different yard on the flat before three runs within a five week period over hurdles for Hanlon for a handicap mark.
In the same vein as the first runner, he has not been seen since, arriving off the back of a 250-day absence. There was definite promise in those novice hurdles, showing up well for a long way on his debut. A case can be made from an opening mark of 88 on that and once more, the betting will tell the tale.
Hanlon’s third runner on the card is Hewick over three miles. Very progressive last season when stepped up in trip, he picked up a pair of handicaps. The first of those was at Kilbeggan so he should have no issues with this tight and undulating track after scoring round there.
Runner-up on his return to action, he shaped there that he is going to enjoy a good summer with a strong chance of further progression. On paper, he looks the most likely winner of Hanlon’s three runners with the likes of Grade 2 winner Deep Bramble a little way back in his pedigree.
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