Andy has four bets today, including a two-point nap at Dundalk this evening.
2.55 Ffos Las
On the two occasions that DRIFTWOOD HAZE (best price 5-1)has encountered genuine soft ground at today’s venue he’s obliged, so with conditions very much in his favour, he can be expected to build on his positive stats at the Welsh track. Entitled to need the run on his comeback effort after 201-days off the track, Philip Dando’s charge shaped really well when a keeping-on third behind two race-fit rivals and given that 3m may have just of stretched his stamina into the bargain, all in all, it wasn’t a bad performance from the Nomadic Way gelding.
In what looks a wide-open and competitive affair, two horses dropping back in trip make most appeal in the shape of GO KART (best price 5-1) and GEOLOGICAL (best price 20-1). The former has run all her best races over tonight’s C&D – as form figures of 2212253 testify – and even though connections were well within their rites to give her another go over 6f last time, she once again proved categorically that she doesn’t see out that trip against the very best sprinters. Off her lowest ever handicap mark and drawn handily in box one, she would only have to run to the level that saw her finish third in a red-hot contest at the Curragh two starts ago to figure here. The latter takes a bit more explaining, but he also has run some nice races over tonight’s C&D and it’s not as if he arrives here in too bad a shape. At his best when third to the useful Chiclet back here in February, he ran well until stamina became a serious issue (again) over 7f last time out and he, too, has also been cut a considerable amount of slack by the handicapper.
CADEAU MAGNIFIQUE (best price 11-4) shaped with a good deal of encouragement on his first outing on this surface here 10 days ago and he looks booked to go well again against similar opponents if he can operate at the same level. In a well-run affair, Richard Fahey’s charge kept in strongly all the way to the line over the stiff mile, but unfortunately he just found the race-fit and more-experienced Tapeta horse, Testa Rossa, too tenacious in the latter stages. Hopefully, they should go a decent gallop again this evening and that will allow the son of Dutch Art to operate at maximum capacity.
Pat Shanahan has a bit of a following here at Dundalk and his supporters are likely to be out in force to side with SHARP DEFENCE (NAP) (best price 11-4), who ran a blinder in a red-hot maiden at Leopardstown towards the backend of the turf season. Dwelling slightly as the stalls opened, the son of First Defence quickly made up the lost ground to race just behind the fast pace set by Cliffs Of Moher, and although he couldn’t quite match the finishing speed of Aidan O’Brien’s colt in the latter stages, in keeping on well for third, he exhibited enough qualities to suggest a maiden would come his way in the not too distant future. On deeper inspection of that race at the Dublin track 20 days ago, it revealed that the winner clocked a time quicker than the 112-rated older horse Sovereign Debt and even in finishing 10 lengths back in third, he still ran to a figure that points towards him being an above-average two-year-old. Furthermore, his pedigree and way he raced that day indicates he should be well suited by dropping back in trip on an all-weather surface, and from a decent low draw in trap five, it would be something of a shock if he wasn’t heavily involved in the outcome.