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TARLETTE is the first of four booked rides for Seamie Heffernan at Dundalk on Friday with the five-year-old looking to secure another victory after success over course and distance two-week-ago. Shane Crawley’s runner has been raised 9lbs for her impressive win against three-rivals and Heffernan remains in the saddle. The form of that race has been enhanced since with Grandmaster Flash winning last Friday and Raphael finishing second in a claiming race earlier this month.
Tower Of Piza races in very similar silks but is owned by Sun Bloodstock and trained by Joseph O’Brien. The daughter of Golden Horn should improve for her comeback run here earlier this month with jockey Alan Persse taking off 7lbs today. Elsewhere, Spelga was raised 8lbs for a comfortable win over Blackstone Cliff at this track recently and could uphold the form for Mick Halford against John McConnell’s five-year-old.
The market will provide us with plenty of clues towards which horses are truly fancied in this 7f maiden, but JO MARCH gets my vote for owner J.P McManus. The Joseph O’Brien trained runner was very much an eye-catcher when staying on for fourth-place at Leopardstown in October and despite a wide draw can go close to victory. The daughter of Zoffany was well behind the leaders when turning to the straight before making lovely headway up the rail in the closing two-furlongs under Shane Crosse.
French Fusion, who was just ahead in third place came out quickly afterwards to enhance the form with victory at Galway for Jim Bolger. Skilled Warrior is one of the dangers for Johnny Murtagh and returns following two-spins on the turf at Gowran Park and Tipperary last year. Flying Hawaiian races on debut for Ger Lyons with Eloso, Soonerthebetter and Rosa Dartle all with experience for Richard O’Brien, Joseph O’Brien and Mick Halford.
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Niall McCullagh remains in the saddle on CIAO NAW in this 7f maiden and could improve to challenge for Mick Halford at an each-way price. The Rock Of Gibraltar filly has a nice draw in stall 2 and has finished sixth twice following two career starts in December and January. She wasn’t disgraced on her latest start behind Lovely Esteem over course and distance, with the second Thrumps Dream winning here last week for Adrian McGuinness.
The Halford team also race another filly, Faraway Dreams with Ronan Whelan in the saddle following her debut seventh to Rocky Sky earlier this month. Elsewhere, the market will give us the best guide to the chances of both Award Dancer and Gegenpressing on debut for Joseph O’Brien and Ger Lyons. Feeling Tip Top has plenty of experience for Jessica Harrington and returns after a narrow defeat over course and distance last October, with Shane Foley back home after international success last weekend.
There are six declared runners for the 7f conditions race which looks intriguing considering the entire field haven’t raced in some time. San Andreas won this race last year and is one of two runners for Joseph O’Brien, with Hugh Horgan in the saddle and Mikey Sheehy taking the ride on Fame And Acclaim. Adrian McGuinness also saddles two runners, with both GODHEAD and Laugh A Minute among the field.
Godhead hasn’t raced since last June but comes here with good form having won three times for John Gosden on the all-weather in England. His latest start when third on grass in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket reads nicely and hopefully he’ll be fit enough to challenge after a seven-month break.
Confide is another UK import having won at Newbury for David O’Meara and now races on debut for James McAuley. The seven-furlong trip is a concern for Laugh A Minute with the consistent Comfort Line a contender for Mick Mulvaney and Melanie Horsman.
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