By The Tote Team www.tote.co.uk
While it’ll be chilly there should be no reason to miss out on a Placepot opportunity on the all-weather at Dundalk on Friday evening.
Read on for our thoughts on the card and the horses you should be siding with.
The freezing temperatures may be laying claim to many of the jumps meetings in the UK and Ireland of late, but at Dundalk, the show goes on. Expect it to be hovering around freezing, but it should be clear and bright with the going remaining Standard all round.
The last time Irish Champion Jockey Colin Keane rode a winner was at the start of November when he guided Tarnawa to Breeders Cup Turf glory. That’s not to say he hasn’t been riding well with eight of his last 10 mounts finishing in the places.
He has a trio of rides at Dundalk on Friday, each with a shot of not only continuing that placed run, but also ending his wait for a winner.
HAAYEM (Leg 2 - 16:30) has only had four runs and performed well enough on Irish debut to suggest he has wins in him. In the same colour FARNESE (Leg 3 - 17:00) ended 2020 with a course and distance win, while TONY THE GENT (Leg 4 - 17:30) is two from two over course and distance and has to be respected.
A change of stables and a drop to 5f seems to have worked wonders for DANDY SPIRIT (Leg 1 - 15:55). He’s two from two since joining Kieran Cotter, with both successes coming over course and distance. The form of those wins has held up with the horses in the places behind him hitting the frame on their subsequent starts.
He has taken a hike in the handicap for those successes, now running off a mark 23lbs in excess of his original rating. However, he’s still unexposed at the trip, and has only had six career so could still have more to give, and under 7lb claimer Adam Farragher could be another winning possibility.
The final race of the Placepot (18:30) is a 2m handicap where many of those who have proven stamina for the trip are out of form and those that have been running well are yet to try the distance.
JAKE PETER is in the former camp, although you only have to go back four runs for some encouragement. Pulled up when last seen in a handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse, he had previously finished second over obstacles at Tipperary and on the flat at Tramore in the autumn of 2019.
He’s had a couple of middling runs over shorter trips on the all-weather and on turf and returns to this distance off a mark 8lb lower than his placed effort. He’s been a course and distance winner in the past, and while he needs to bounce back from his tame effort last time, he’s not out of this.
The Maiden at 18:00 looks a tricky affair with 14 runners fighting it out for those three Placepot spots. A number of newcomers are set to clash with a handful of runners that have shown some encouragement on their couple of starts to date.
FERRYBANK seemed to appreciate the 6f speed test when second behind Russian River here in November and another bold showing is expected. ZEN SILENCE was fifth that day and while he’s been hit and miss since, isn’t easy to rule out completely.
Of the newcomers, RESOURCEFUL MAN is perhaps the most intriguing. He’s a first foal by Byzantium who was pitched in at Listed level on her debut, finishing third, before winning her next start in her debut season. If this colt has the same early promise as his dam he could finish in the frame at a price.
Leg 1: Dandy Spirit
Leg 2: Haayem, Raphael
Leg 3: Farnese, Just Brilliant
Leg 4: Tony The Gent, Tyrconnell
Leg 5: Ferrybank, Zen Silence, Resourceful Man
Leg 6: Jake Peter, Scholastic
1 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 3 x 2 = 48 lines
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