We embark on another week of racing and I am looking forward to hopefully adding to a few recent winners that I have managed to provide. It was another profitable day on Saturday, with Druid’s Altar and Winter Power getting the job done in a pretty decisive manner. Yesterday’s action looked tricky on paper and I thought that the wise option was to give it a leave and take a fresh look at the week’s racing. There is action from Killarney all week, and as we gear up towards both Goodwood and Galway Festivals at the end of this month, there might be a few ante-post selections coming your way sooner rather than later.
For today, there are two selections from Ireland, as I delve into the action at Dundalk and Killarney for two chances. Starting off with Dundalk, where I will be focusing on the 1m maiden at 2.45 for 3YOs. This looks a good standard maiden for a Monday afternoon and brings a nice mix of unknowns and proven form to the table.
The favourite is Chicago Black Hawk for Johnny Murtagh, who brings a solid but not unbeatable profile to the mix in this race. After some very promising efforts behind High Definition and Van Gogh to start his career, he has been well beaten at short prices the last three times, and doesn’t seem to be progressing at a great amount anymore. This being said, he has a rating of 82 – which does set the standard and on pieces of his form, will be very hard to beat. Irish Chief for Aidan O’Brien brings a similar profile to the table, and his rating of 81 indicates a fair but yet again, not unbeatable level. His run at Gowran was decent last time out and will probably be suited by dropping back to the mile.
However, I will be siding with promise and potential inexperience, with River Eden being my selection in this race. Joseph O’Brien has become well versed in using the barrier trials at Dundalk to great advantage in recent years, and this horse has gone down that exact route. She was a comprehensive winner of one of those barrier trials a few weeks ago and now comes into this outing with a fair level of expectation placed on her shoulders. She is getting a fillies allowance from the two at the top of the market and it is very interesting to see a lot of money already come in for this horse. At a best price of 2/1 with Paddy Power, I’d be hopeful she can deliver on that promise.
Secondly, I am heading off to Killarney for the first of many selections that will be coming from this picturesque track all week long. It’s competitive flat racing today and none more so than the 6.15 – which sees ten excellent 1m handicappers go to post. This is a high end handicap race and sees Nebo head the market for the Hogan / Sheridan combination. He has been a hit and miss character in the past, but has always had loads of ability. He showed that off brilliantly last week when winning a 7f handicap at Fairyhouse under customary front running tactics. It is hard to know whether he will be able to rattle off a back to back victory under a penalty, but one couldn’t put it past him.
I landed on Roca Roma for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane, who I’m sure we haven’t seen the best of yet this season. She was a very promising 3YO last year, winning good standard events at Gowran and Leopardstown on either side of two difficult assignments. One of those defeats was over this C&D, when she was never travelling when well backed for a listed race. She returned this season with a fine effort in a good standard handicap before disappointing in the Lanwades Stakes at a higher level. This looks like a realistic race for her to run in and I’d be confident that she can run a huge race. At a price of 4/1 with William Hill, I’m hoping she is on a going day and can run very well.