Jockey Ben Coen has been somewhat of a revelation in Ireland this year and looks to have a fantastic future ahead of him. Despite still being an apprentice he’s been given plenty of responsibility by his number one trainer Johnny Murtagh and their partnership proved profitable. The duo’s form continues to be blistering with the jockey riding three of Murtagh’s horses in the past two weeks. This trio of rides produced one victory and a third placed finish. They team up again this time with New Star. After a very encouraging 4th here last time out it looked as if a drop in trip would be the natural route to take and connections have done just that as he now returns to seven furlongs. He doesn’t have a bad draw and although we seem to have more consistent types in the form of Satin Snake and Gunners Dream I’m siding with a team in-form to add further success to their respective tallies.
My one and only selection on English soil comes in the fifth race at Southwell’s evening meeting where I find myself siding with a horse who’s only won the once in her fourteen race career. A multiple group race entrant it’s clear that the previous owner held Hazel in high regard so to see her now line up in a Class 5 contest ought to at least ensure she deserves a second glance. Now in the more than capable hands of trainer David Loughnane, who’s saddled a couple of recent winners, the three year old steps foot into this grade for the first time in her career. It’s clear that her previous start over one mile and half a furlong was too far so a return to this trip looks a decent move. With the interesting jockey booking of Rossa Ryan also a positive it’d be foolish not to have a nibble, especially considering her current double figure price.
With six former course winners in the line up it makes this seven furlong handicap very tricky to decipher however my selection does hail from this sextet.
Former course and distance winner Tynamite is the one I fear most after a promising effort here at Dundalk just 23 days ago. In his twelve course and distance runs to date he’s claimed a plethora of places but just the one victory. Off a decent mark now I expect him to go close but I’m hoping wont find enough to topple my tip.
One of his rivals who also has a previous success here is Kendred Soul. She has been woeful in her last six starts and that’s putting it kindly. From those six runs, prior to her last effort, she’d only finished ahead of 3 of her 61 rivals, finishing last in three of those five starts. That being said however the yard are currently operating at a 25% strike rate and the four year old now resides off a rating 17lbs below her last winning mark. She likes to be up near the pace so being drawn in stall 4 is bound to aid her chances and at a decent price looks appealing as an each-way punt.
The final race on the card at Dundalk sees some solid sprint handicappers enter the stalls with a solid chance and if the betting is anything to go off Cityman has a lively chance. At the time of writing, the five year old has been backed from around 7/1 into the clear market favourite. Andrew Slattery’s charge had a mediocre turf campaign this summer but a return to an artificial surface seemed to do the trick when he finished 4th after a 123 day absence. He’s bound to strip fitter for his recent effort and a rise in distance should help his cause. His record over tonight’s course and distance reads as 2nd, 3rd, 1st and 8th. Now 14lbs below his most recent success he has plenty of things pointing towards him producing another bold showing. The only negative would be the fact he hasn’t seen the winners enclosure in over two year but I just hope he’s reintroduced this evening.
Fellow course winners Eglish, Sunset Nova, Theriverrunsdeep, Beleaguerment and Red Cymbal all either won or placed in their most recent outings and it’d come as now shock if their of these runners managed to upset our tip but with four of the five all racing off marks higher than they’ve won with I hope the handicapper has put them well and truly in their place.
If I had to nominate an alternative it’d be Beleaguerment but his high draw makes it tough.
written by Rory Paddock