We kick off tonights action with a selection that seems to have been pretty overlooked in a race with just six entries.
The favourite for the second race on the Dundalk card tonight is Eddie Lynam’s Balmont Mast. A course and distance winning seven year old that has been tried in much better company than this but the horse hasn’t won since 2013 and hasn’t won at Dundalk since 2012. It is clearly a classy horse with a listed win at The Curragh and a campaign at group level in Meydan speaks volumes but a fourth of nine in a Dundalk Handicap last time doesn’t read well and based on it’s inconsistency has to be opposed this evening.
Another horse that is vying for favouritism is another seven year old that has been campaigned at a much higher level than this evenings race. With a similar campaign to the favourite with races over in Meydan it has to be respected and a listed win and second behind the great Slade Power is fantastic form. Russian Soul comes from a top yard and is the one I fear the most.
The horse I’m plumping for is the youngest in the race who is still yet to lose its maiden tag. I Will Excel returned to the track with a decent second behind Wychwood Warrior, a horse that placed in a listed race in Meydan. At the age of just three it has bags of room for improvement and despite never winning it has been tried against decent opposition in the past, the likes of Kool Kompany to name just one former opponent. Clearly the team hold the horse in high regard and a lot is taken on trust but at a price around 7/1 it seems way too big in just a six runner race.
I Will Excel (E/W if 9/2+)
We head over to England for our second selection and to Wolverhampton for another each way selection.
Unlike tonights first pick we are going from the youngest horse in its race to the oldest horse in the race.
My selection here is seven year old Invincible Ridge, a horse that has probably seen better days but still shows glimpses of its former hay day. It has raced in class two handicaps on its last two starts and a drop down in to a class four race should definitely be a help. The horse has won off a higher handicap mark in the past and it’s worth noting that of its four career wins two have come over course and distance.
Of its rivals a case can be made for quite a few, more noticeably the likely improvers Random Success and Royal Birth. Random Success doesn’t have a great record at Wolverhampton but Royal Birth has a course win and with trainer Stuart Williams hitting a bit of form it has a lively chance and is the biggest threat.
A mention also has to go to one of the rank outsiders Rusty Rocket who has bits and pieces of decent form in the past and is a ridiculous price at 25/1 and may run better than expected with John Egan in the saddle.
Invincible Ridge (E/W if 9/2+)
We end tonights picks how we started them with a return to Dundalk to tackle their fifth race of the evening.
A tricky contest to decipher with a three year old handicap in front of us but one I hope I can find some success in.
The favourite comes from the Irish powerhouse of Ballydoyle as Absorbing heads the market. The horse showed marked improvement when finishing third last time out behind stablemate Song Of Love which has won a fair few times already this season. The trainers daughter Ana O’Brien takes a hefty seven pounds off the horses back and a drop in class gives this one a lively chance but without a win to its name I still have to wonder wether or not it has that winning attitude.
Lily’s Rainbow is the only course and distance winner in the field and for that alone has to be respected but is a horse I feel may find a few too good after a rise in weight.
A horse that seems quite overpriced is Super Ollie Mario that ran a creditable fourth last time out behind three really nice looking horses from top yards and although I don’t think it’s likely to win may do better than its double figure odds suggest.
This leads me on to my selection, the Adrian McGuinness trained Liffey View. A horse has a decent course win to its name and is given a better draw in stall four. The horse has a mixed bag of results but if you take away its form on soft or good ground then it’s results read one second place and one win which isn’t bad at all. It clearly acts on quicker ground and isn’t put off by the artificial surface. The horse isn’t much higher in the weights than when it won here previously and must be in the shake up to at least capture place money.
Liffey View (E/W if 9/2+)
by Rory Paddock