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RAPHAEL can step-up in trip to land back-to-back wins at Dundalk for Adrian McGuinness and Gavin Ryan in the second race on the card. The six-year-old has been handed a nice draw in stall 1 and can track the pacesetters into the straight before striking again for another claiming success. He went away to win in comfortable fashion from Point Reyes and Comin’ Through three-weeks ago with all three renewing rivalries today.
Colin Keane is booked to ride Comin’ Through for Jack Davison but is drawn wide in stall 14, with Tonkinese also drawn in the car-park from stall 16. The Joseph O’Brien-trained runner drops in trip and wears blinkers for the first time with Dylan Browne McMonagle back in the saddle. Muraahin has raced well in defeat here for Gavin Cromwell and has Kyanna Van Buuren taking off 10lbs.
THE HIGHWAY RAT can improve from his maiden victory on debut over course and distance earlier this month to remain unbeaten for Andy Oliver and Gary Carroll. The son of Dandy Man got a nice lead into the straight before kicking on to win gamely inside the final furlong, with Visualisation back in third-place and boosting the form with victory for Joseph O’Brien last week.
An opening rating of 79 on his handicap debut looks reasonable and he should benefit from a strong pace set by Ferrybank and Red Contender. Ferrybank dominated from the front when winning a maiden here three weeks ago for Ted Walsh and steps up in trip. Red Contender returns for Luke Comer having just failed to dominate from the front when second here two weeks ago with Hala Joud back in third-place for Joseph O’Brien.
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Sarah Lynam has been enjoying a good spell here at Dundalk, as both Sabrina Fairchild and Irish Ambassador are recent winners at the venue. ABEONA can hopefully continue that good run despite a wide draw on her second start for the stable and Saw Ewing returns in the saddle. The daughter of Acclamation needs to reverse the form against Turbo Command after they both finished behind Wonder Elzaam just before Christmas.
Abeona was previously third to Vatican City over course and distance on debut for Ger Lyons and was placed three times on turf at Limerick, Leopardstown and Cork. This looks a very ordinary affair with Turbo Command, Lilandra and Strange Times all having plenty of previous chances to win races. Port Lockroy will most likely go close to victory over time in handicaps, while Ottawa Fire and Howyoulikethat can’t be dismissed for a possible place.
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