As the summer draws to an end and racing fans start to gear up for the forthcoming National Hunt season we start to see the return of my own personal favourite, all-weather racing. More well known for evening meetings Dundalk presents us with a rare day time card this Sunday.
Although arguably not the best or classiest racing on offer there’s still a great deal of opportunities for punters to take advantage of over in Ireland.
Looking through the card I’ve managed to pinpoint four horses that are worth attention.
KISS THE STARS could kick off the card in a positive fashion as the T G McCourt trained six year old returns to race conditions it holds a 50% strike rate. The mare has raced here at Dundalk a total of twelve times and has finished in the top two on six occassions. A return to five furlongs is a plus especially off just a one pound higher mark than when winning here previously. A low draw will also aid its chances as she looks set to go close.
Coming straight up in the following race I’m hoping that RUSSIAN SOUL can finally roll back the years and put in a winning performance. it’s easy to forget that this time last year saw the sprinting veteran contest a listed course and distance race in which it didn’t finish too far back in sixth. He raced over six furlongs last time out and a drop down to the minimum trip should definitely help. Mark Halford’s gelding finished behind Chiclet and Primo Uomo here a few starts back but now renews rivalries on much more favourable terms with his opponents receiving 10lbs and 8lbs respectively since that race. With the weights now in his favour he looks set to go much closer.
Later on in the day Paul Flynn’s CHATTERTON looks to rack up another course and distance victory under Epsom Derby winning jockey Pat Smullen. The gelding returns to Dundalk with a generous rating and could take advantage of the handicappers lenience from stall five. I am slightly worried about the threat posed by the improving three-year-old Matriach however I’m hoping experience could be the telling factor.
I must admit the final horse is somewhat speculative however I was really taken with his run when finishing seventh in a handicap at Leopardstown. REDDOT EXPRESS had no luck in running that day and tackles an all-weather surface for the first time in its career. A question mark remains on wether or not he will act on the ground however I feel Mark Halford sees more in the horse than its bare form suggests. If the change of scenery can bring about some improvement then today could be the day he finally pounces.
SELECTIONS: KISS THE STARS (Each Way) RUSSIAN SOUL (Each Way) CHATTERTON (Each Way) REDDOT EXPRESS (Each Way)