FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
Our first of two trips to Ireland tonight sees us take in a maiden race. These three year olds have little to no form to go off but that hasn’t stopped me from making a selection.
Former Group 1 winning and illustrious jockey Johnny Murtagh hung up the whip and saddle for good not too long ago and has now turned into a pretty decent trainer. He saddles the current second favourite Maronella here who by far has the best form of the lot. A third in its only start reads really well and on form alone should be the one to beat but I fear that the stable have had a poor run of results and Murtagh’s horses aren’t hitting their stride, add to this the question mark over the horses fondness of an artifical surface and I have to oppose it.
I’m a huge fan of trainer Tommy Stack, especially with younger horses and especially over shorter trips. With this in mind the horse I fear the most is the unraced Unchanged. Out of Thewayyouare who is sire to Group 1 winning Toast Of New York should mean the horse will act on the surface and if it remains an each-way price would be a decent bet. This being said however I just can’t see past the favourite.
Hat Alnasar comes from the Halford yard who had a third placed runner in Meydan yesterday and their stable is hitting stride. The horse was unlucky to just miss out last time out when seen running over a mile here at Dundalk last time and the drop in trip should be a big plus. These factors means the horse is a worth favourite and will have its best chance to lose its maiden tag today.
Hat Alnasar (WIN)
We stick with Dundalk for our second pick this evening and head to the fourth race on the card.
Without being too dismissive of the other five runners I feel it’s a three runner contest in all but name.
We have two course and distance winners in the form of Clutchingatstraws who did well to win last time and the O’Callaghan trained horse hasn’t been hiked up too much in the weights. I fear however that the burden of top weight and the horses relitive inconsistency will be its inevitable downfall and should find a few too good today.
The most intriguing for me is the maiden Adventureman who comes with big connections. Owned by the Qatari Racing Group, trained by big time sprint trainer Eddie Lynam and ridden by top Irish jockey Kevin Manning the horse is in with a brilliant chance but I fear that even great trainer Eddie Lynam isn’t quite sure what to do with the horse, what its best trip or riding style may be and although the biggest threat to my selections success it has too many questions marks to have confidence in.
My second selection ties in with my first selection as Song Of Love narrowly beat Hat Alnasar last time out. The horse was given quite a soft ride that time and although it only won narrowly it still won. The horse has been very generously dropped in weight by a pound despite its success and with the seven pound claim that Donnacha O’Brien takes off the horse it has to have a brilliant chance of making it two wins in a row.
Song Of Love (WIN)
Over to “Blighty” we go as we end the evenings action at Wolverhampton. Although I go with yet another favourite it’s one I just cannot see getting turned over. With the run up to the Dubai World Cup well underway Godolphin have their horses flying and that includes those that are running on these shores. Dream Child is a course and distance winner who was narrowly beaten last time out. Now the horse returns to a longer trip and has Adam Kirby back onboard the youngest horse in the race should take all the beating to get back onto winning ways.
Of the remaining runners Michael Appleby’s horses are doing well and with a course win and a win over todays trip to its name is another who hasn’t finished out of the top two in its last four runs but with top weight I fear it maybe the bridesmaid and not the bride tonight.
Dream Child (WIN)
by Rory Paddock