15:35 Laytown The Laytown Strand Races only take place once a year so we can’t let this years meeting pass without a selection or two from the beach. The early favourite here is War Room who was an impressive four length winner at Dundalk last week and keeps jockey Shane Foley in the saddle for todays’ race, a jockey with three wins and two placed efforts from ten rides here. Despite the impressive nature of his victory last time out, he only really asserted in the final furlong over a mile trip so the step back to six furlongs may not play to his strengths and for this reason I am happy to look elsewhere. Instead I’m opting for a horse with winning form at Laytown by way of the Harry Rogers trained Acroleina who won this race last year by two and a half lengths off a mark of 57 and races today off 49. Shane Foley was in the saddle last year but todays jockey Declan McDonogh is a more than suitable replacement having won seven times from thirty-two rides here, for a winning strike rate of almost 22%. Of the remainder, Kiss The Stars arrives on the back of a close second at Dundalk last time out and has decent form on the beach having placed in a six furlong race last year so could prove the main danger to the selection, although has only managed one win in eighteen over the trip so may find one too good yet again. Acroleina (WIN)
16:35 Laytown Adrian McGuinness has won this race twice in the last ten years and runs Rigid Rock who has winning form over todays’ trip and placed third in this race last year. He is partnered with jockey Colin Keane who has won two and placed twice from nine rides at Laytown so looks sure to give another good account of himself. Gordon Elliott has also won this race twice in recent years and runs both Dove Mountain and Steady Major in an attempt to emerge victorious again. Of the two, Dove Mountain looks the most capable but in truth both would likely prefer a longer trip. Our Max has only won twice in his career but both came over course and distance so he would have to be considered in with a real chance and would be the selection for the race if getting in, although as second reserve unfortunately this now seems unlikely. Another with course and distance form is Bussa who won this race last year but has only raced once since and returns after a ten month absence. Given his course form he cannot be completely discounted however he is yet to win on return from any notable absence so is probably best watched today. Rigid Rock (E/W)
17:05 Laytown K J Condon has won four from ten here at Laytown and won this race last year with Strait Of Zanzibar. The seven year old was last seen finishing a decent third at Galway in July and has won twice on the back of similar breaks so racing off a 3lbs lower mark this time round he is the choice to defend his crown. High Emperor has won five from eleven over todays’ trip, although four of those five came on turf and he is 10lbs higher than his win at Dundalk, while Ainslie returns from twelve months racing over hurdles and will have fitness on his side but would probably prefer to race over further. Fairy Foxglove probably arrives with the best recent form having won two of her last three, including an almost three length victory over War Room who races earlier on the card. On form alone she would have to be the main danger to the selection although its worth noting that both recent wins came over a mile and she is only one from seventeen over todays’ trip. Strait Of Zanzibar (WIN)
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