Tony Keenan’s latest racing review stems from a Sunday afternoon at the all-weather track at Dundalk. It was, as always, a bit of a mixed bag, but there was still enough on show for Tony to add a few more names to his notebook. There was also enough room in that book for him to note down some names of horses to shy away from in future events!
Dundalk – August 19th
Colour Of Love is just a different horse at the moment; this trip would have been much too sharp on evidence of last year and some of this year’s runs; has travelled ridiculously well (albeit cocking jaw slightly in the finish) and might be able to make another step up after this; looks a solid mid-90s horse now and seems to be improving. Very hard to knock Farmleigh House; felt they were just going a stride too fast for him early on and will be better over 6f; stuck at it very well in light of a tough task at the weights and provided the handicapper doesn’t hammer him should be winning soon. I couldn’t understand the money for Ahaaly; she is very limited and one to oppose despite slipping mark.
6f 2yo Maiden
Yulong Baoju put up a good debut, splitting a pair with good form FTO and pulling clear of the third; you’d have to think it will improve for the run being trained by Lynam. Quadriga had head off to the side a bit but seemed to go forward while Three Sea Captains is a strong-travelling sort though he did find a bit this time around. Wexford Opera was a well-beaten fourth but for some reason has a reputation (perhaps the entry in the Phoenix) and is worth opposing; nothing of note down the field.
Strong-travelling effort from The Reaper, no real sign of quirks though suspect Balmont Mast didn’t want to go by; head a bit high in the finish though in fairness the winner travelled much better than him and this trip might be beyond him anyway. Trip looked a bit sharp for Elusive Ridge as was being niggled from 4f out and hard at work before straight; it might have been to hold position but more than likely couldn’t go pace which was strong; funnily enough, he looked one that might have the pace for this trip but they can’t be effective over every distance; got some trouble in the straight and came home a bit and will do better over further. The draw looked to screw both the Bunyan horses, Grey Danube (awkward HC but ran well from out of the handicap) and Invincible Ridge, drawn 13 and 10, and they might do better LTO having come home well from rear; the form of Invincible Ridge’s last run is working out well. When Not Iff has an awkward HC.
7f 2yo Maiden
This was impressive from Seeking Luck; always going best, plenty of trouble until one and half down, pulled out and ran on well to make up 3/4ls, won easily despite being green and improvement very likely with this trainer. Not sure about Nurpur; keen early and head a bit high and so to in the finish (off to side too), running around a little too; wouldn’t nail her a dog yet but the reputation factor means she’s probably one to keep getting. Queen Of The Sand looked to have an awkward HC in rear.
Three seconds slower than the previous division; suspect it has suited Love Nest to be up there on the pace and the fact that he looks a bit tricky (hinted at temperament previously) another factor in that. Misty Lane was keen (had been on previous win too) and appeared to have gotten warm. Lord Kenmare one of few to get into it from off the pace but isn’t one to be hanging your hat on in terms of reliability. Not a bad run from Wild China (previous efforts suggested 8f/decent ground would be her thing); thought Hayes made his move about 4f out too early when seemingly going well enough and there might be a race in it. Shukhov has come home from off the pace too but remains a maiden; likes it here.
Impressive from Xsquared though he does hold the head high; this win will take him out of the bottom grade for a while though he is in good form. Ferryview Place was disappointing on the surface considering he’d been an impressive CD winner TBL though he was held up and came home a bit which isn’t always easy to do at this track during day meetings.
Free Spin was BTBF; had a good early position but lost in coming across the top which meant others got first run in the straight; needed to be switched but has come home well in the manner of one that is pretty genuine; an OR of 70 would not be too bad. Rigoletta showed no obvious quirks while Spirituality went like one in need of further; off it from 4f out but coming home well. A few were keen early, notably Arbitrageur and Massini’s Trap. Jumbo Prado got tightened up a little inside the final furlong but it made little difference.
Muck ‘N’ Brass clearly one with lots of ability; always going nicely from the top of the straight, had to wait for run, but got there despite again hanging in the finish, has the temperament too. Surprised with how well Sindjara went considering LTO form was poor; wouldn’t make much of any trouble she got up the rail and indeed got a pretty clear run. Barrow Island has come from a bit back and got some trouble too; this was yet another good run at the track for him. Brendan Brackan ran well on just third start, coming from well back on a day where doing that may not have suited while Super Say didn’t run terribly either. Certerach was disappointing but may have needed this, his first run since May; has improved for the run FTO both seasons.
Horses to Follow: Colour Of Love, Farmleigh House, Invincible Ridge, Seeking Luck, Wild China, Free Spin, Brendan Brackan.
Horses to Oppose: Wexford Opera, Balmont Mast, Nurpur.