We start tonights Friday Night Lights article quite early as we take in Wolverhampton’s first race.
In all due respect this is far from the best race tonight with most horses being maidens and having very muddling form to say the least.
We have to start with the one horse that had a win last time out and the Roy Bowring trained Little Choosey did well to win over course and distance. The horse seems to do quite well at the midlands course but at as short as 2/1 it represents little to no value.
Of the remaining runners Singing Star gave a decent performance when finishing fourth and at the age of four still has room to improve. It’s last start was behind todays favourite but is another horse who’s price isn’t overly generous and I have to look elsewhere.
I’m going to plump for a horse that is a little unknown and is still yet to shake off its maiden tag. Magic Ice ran a somewhat eye-catching race when finishing sixth last time over seven furlongs at this course and the drop in distance should be a very noticeable help. It has a great draw in stall one and now has quality jockey Graham Lee in the saddle. The horse has two second placed finishes at Wolverhampton (including one over five furlongs) and may go well to start tonights proceedings.
Magic Ice (E/W)
We skip over to Ireland to take in our first of two races from Dundalk.
Their first race on the card looks to be between the top four or five in the betting as I think you can quite easily discount Summer Isles, Doonard Prince, Shushu Sugartown, Annie Irish and Sweet Annathea.
Of the remaining runners you have to respect Your Pal Tal, a horse that won last time out over course and distance and beat two of todays rivals in the process. That being said however the handicapper has been less than kind by upping the horse a whopping seven pounds. I would also argue that todays competition is better than those it faced in its last outing and in my opinion it is there to be shot at tonight.
Of the remaining entries Almadaa is an interesting runner but I fear its inconsistency makes it a very untrustworthy horse to back as you just don’t know wether or not today will be its day.
With most all weather courses I think course form is key and with five top four finishes in six races at Dundalk you have to admire Corker Hill. The five year old enlists the help of promising amateur Derek McCormack who has a fantastic record on the horse with a win and two seconds from just four rides. There is a slight question about the drop to six furlongs and being drawn in stall nine is not that helpful but the way the horse travels I don’t think a shorter trip should be too much of an issue and at around 8/1 is a ridiculously generous price for the Noel Lawlor trained horse.
Corker Hill (E/W if 5/1+)
We end tonights action with a one mile handicap from Dundalk where, with seventeen runners entered, a case can be made for numerous runners.
One of the biggest dangers to my selection has to be P J Murphy’s Fairy Foxglove who went off favourite in its last start but didn’t disappoint when finishing third. The five year old has a good record at Dundalk with four placed efforts out of six races at the course. My main concern however is that, despite being very consistent it is still a maiden after twelve runs and although I expect a good run I couldn’t be positive of a victory.
Another runner worth noting is course and distance winner Sister Slew who won on its previous start. the horse clearly has ability but is far from a model of consistency and the likelihood of the horse going in again is slim to none judging by its previous track record.
A horse that finished second behind Sister Slew that day looks the biggest threat as the Rory Cleary ridden seven year old Basilica tackles Dundalk for only the third time. The horse came back to form with a good second placed effort and may be able to go one better here.
One final mention has to go to top weight Merry Mast who I think could run a decent race and seems relatively overpriced at 12/1.
All this being said however I am going with another course and distance winner in the form of Settle For Red. The horse has the help of leading Irish jockey Kevin Manning for the first time and returns to a course where it has a decent record. With one win and three seconds from eight starts here the horse could be a bit of a sleeping giant. It is currently priced around 15/2 and that represents great each way value coming from the advantageous stall one as well.
Settle For Red (E/W if 5/1+)
by Rory Paddock