Spelga looks the worthy favourite after a solid fourth over course and distance last time out and can go similarly close once again however off this handicap mark he’s worth taking on.
Fellow course victor AARED tries 1m4f for the first time in his 29 race career but that looks a positive step, as does his return to the all-weather. He’s only raced on an artificial surface twice before and claimed a win and a second both here at Dundalk. His success came off this handicap mark and his trainers yard are in blistering form with two wins in their last five runners. All things point towards a solid run at a decent price here.
Trainer Gavin Cromwell has his sights set on bigger races over obstacles for the next six months however he could add to his yards tally with a winner here at Dundalk. He sends out five year old AASLEAGH FAWN who competes over the two mile trip for the first time in her career. She showed a more encouraging effort when sixth here last time and certainly has the ability to build upon that. She finished runner up at Navan earlier in the year when tackling 1m5f with more weight on her back. The booking of jockey Shane Foley is very noticeable and should certainly aid her chances.
WOODROW makes his handicap debut after a strong performance to finish 5th of 14 in a course and distance maiden. Although he’s a maiden the form of his stable, who are operating at a 33% strike rate, gives us encouragement. He’s been gifted a very good draw and despite being up against some seasoned handicappers he could spring a shock.
The final race of this eight race card at Dundalk sees a former course and distance winner that looks drastically overpriced. At current odds of 20/1 STANHOPE seems to be the forgotten horse. I understand the likes of Breakfast Club have shown more of late but the John McConnell trained six year old showed an improved performance to go 4th last time. I’m not completely convinced that he’s a sure fire winner but now below his last two winning marks (including one over course and distance) he’s definitely worth taking a chance on at such big odds, especially if all eight runners remain in the lineup.
written by Rory Paddock