Brendan Duke: Bishops Road could be the path to follow for Kerry National

Our racing enthusiast offers suggestions for some huge meetings coming up in the racing calendar, including the Kerry National…


The cup of race fans runneth over this week. Between the Leger meeting in Donny, Champions Weekend in the Leop and the Arc Trials in France, it’ll be all we can do to keep up.

This obviously makes things tricky in terms of running plans. I will make my best guess on those, also the ground. Autumn may be the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness to some, but dramatic going changes are of more pressing concern.

First, a quick recap. Laytown was an experience. The executive are to be commended for only charging €10 admission. The could easily take greater advantage of their unique charms. It was a lovely day with a large, happy crowd. Not having a bet proved beyond me. Not having a winner proved a doddle though.

At Kempton on Saturday, Enable was most impressive. I was a bit concerned that they were putting her comeback off, but shouldn’t have worried. She goes to the Prix de l’Arc at Longchamp a worthy fav, if a little bit short in my opinion.


Find the latest betting from Listowel over at

The weather has rather scuppered my plans to back Slowmotion in the Kerry National tomorrow.

The weather apps I use underestimated the rainfall in Listowel. I might have guessed, the place should be twinned with the Amazon basin.

The ground always seem to ride hock deep. Anyway, one door closes and a window opens. Bishops Road is currently available at 16/1. That looks a very fair price. He lurks on a dangerous mark and should relish the conditions.

Granted his falling mark can be attributed to some disappointing recent efforts. His comeback effort last season reads well though. He has a good record fresh and is tried in a first-time tongue tie.

While he has questions to answer, I reckon the price is good compensation for those.

And now the weather. Leopardstown is currently good to firm. They’re expecting rain overnight and unsettled conditions over the following days. They obviously don’t use the same apps as me. I’m seeing very little rain. They get a better class of weather over there.

Probably why the property is so expensive. I predict ground no softer than good and probably on the quick side.

The Curragh and Doncaster are both currently on the easy side of good but again there’s very little rain about, so come the weekend they will probably ride good too.

My main fancy of the week comes in the Leger. Lah Ti Dar will take plenty of stopping. John Gosden (above) could run her in France on Sunday but the ground is currently quick there and no rain is forecast.

I suspect she’ll head to Doncaster, but it’s probably best to wait until the day as she’s quite short in the betting and a defection would be galling.

It’s possible to crib her form as style over substance, but I believe she’s the real deal and will prove it on Saturday.

Ballydoyle’s reaction to confirmation of her participation will be interesting. I think Aidan will empty the clip if she runs.

If she’s not declared, I could see a situation where Southern France for example, would run in the Irish St Leger instead.

There have been strong hints that old warrior Order Of St George has had enough so I wouldn’t expect to see him again. All these moving parts. It’s enough to give a man a headache.

Both the Champagne and National Stakes are shaping up well. Too Darn Hot (TDH) will likely run into Dark Vision and Phoenix of Spain in Doncaster. Quorto will likely swerve that engagement to take on Anthony Van Dyck (AVD) in the Curragh.

The exciting Madhmoon is another possible for the National Stakes, but is more likely to run in Leopardstown on Saturday. I think Dark Vision is very good. He’s clearly held by TDH on collateral form, but I suspect his price on Saturday will prove irresistible to me.

Quorto can probably out speed AVD on Sunday. Again, I can see Quorto being underestimated in the market.

The Portland handicap will be typically competitive. Udontdodou looks like he should be favourite to me all the same. The form of his recent Windsor win is strong.

He’s always been a better horse on the all-weather, but his turf flat mark still reflects that. The 4lb rise for his last win appears lenient. He looks a bet at current odds.

Head over to for the latest betting at Listowel

What do you think?