Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has three tips for today's action, including a NAP at Leopardstown.
WASDELL DUNDALK (best price 7-4) took a little while to get off the mark but he did it in such convincing fashion over today’s C&D last time out, there’s every chance Jonjo O’Neill’s gelding can repeat the dose back at the scene of that breakthrough win.
A shade frustrating heading into that competitive handicap at the Midland venue, the six-year-old chestnut nonetheless had his supporters despite being up against the likes of the well-fancied pair Ronde Du Nuit and In The Bull and as it proved, those who stayed loyal to the 12-race maiden finally had a decent payday. Settling nicely just off the pace set by the front-running Cousin Oscar, the Spirit One gelding looked in a spot of bother as he was pushed along to maintain his position rounding the home bend, but once straightening up for home, he stayed on extremely strongly to collar the long-time leader after two out before powering clear on the run-in. Unsuited by a slowly-run affair when a strong-finishing third behind today’s main rival, Castel Gandolfo, hopefully Caddyhill will take the field along at such a pace whereby Wasdell Dundalk’s stamina will prove the key factor.
This season more than most, Ger Lyon seems to have a whole glut of juvenile talent at his disposal with the likes of Beauty Inspire, Sacred Bridge, Dr Zempf, Geocentric and Recurrent Dream all making a strong impression in the early part of the campaign and JUNCTURE (NAP) (best price 7-4) is another name to add to the list based on her recent display at Leopardstown.
Runner-up to the useful Contarelli Chapel on debut at Naas when finding the winner too sharp for her over six furlongs, the daughter of Dark Angel was duly stepped up in trip at the Dublin track two months later and that positive move proved an instant hit as she showed a whole new different dimension to her game. Tracking the pace set by Dissociate, the picked up the running after the two pole when the front-runner faded and from that juncture, she steadily drew clear of her rivals to score with a good deal of authority. Clocking a decent time figure into the bargain, the race has worked out as well accordingly with the likes of Seisai and Discoveries winning since, and even though she faces a stern opponent tonight in the shape of Albany fourth Prettiest, hopefully her valuable track experience will prove the decisive factor in what should turn out to be a fascinating clash between the pair.
MASTER CORNWALL (best price 15-2) has been a model of consistency in recent months without managing to get his head in front, but today could be the time he makes the all-important breakthrough if he can run to a similar level of his Cork achievements from last time.
The feature of that race eventually won by Ricky Bobby at the Mallow track was the strong speed figure for the grade and with the third and eighth going on to fight out the finish of a similar handicap at Killarney last week, the performance of the son of Mastercraftsman comes even more under the spotlight. Held up towards the rear of mid-division, the four-year-old struggled to hold his position as the pace got ramped up turning for home, but it was noticeable that he stayed on quite nicely on the run-in and his never-nearer fifth place more than complimented his previous three podium finishing efforts. On the evidence of his display 13 days ago, the lightly-raced chestnut looks ready for a step up to 2m4f and in a race where very few arrive here in decent shape, it would be a shade disappointing if he couldn’t justify each-way support.