Horse Racing Tips: Brendan Duke’s five to follow for the Irish flat season

Brendan Duke picks out five to follow in preparation for when racing returns

Doctor Brown Bear

2 g Estidhkaar – All In Clover (Bahri) Owner: Brendan W Duke Racing


Doctor Brown Bear is a very nice horse who is very well balanced, and he’ll be ready to run when racing resumes in Ireland.

Seven furlongs to a mile will be his trip and he’s from a very solid family of winners. The dam (All In Clover) is a half-sister to Chica Buena, who won a maiden hurdle for me before being sold to some owners of Keith Dalgleish and winning another four times – including a Listed hurdle at Aintree.

I think he’ll act on any ground except firm.

READ: Paddy’s guide to sport that’s still actually happening

If it’s still going, there are probably odds on it at

Enya V

2 f Vadamos – Red Blanche (Red Clubs) Owner: VaVaVoom Syndicate


Enya Va is a sharp, speedy filly who is a May 1 foal by first season sire Vadamos – who was a top-class miler for Andre Fabre – owned by a new syndicate.

I was happy with what I was seeing before racing stopped but I’m waiting for the amber light before I start getting her ready again.

I think five to seven furlongs will be ideal although she won’t want any further than seven. Good or good to soft ground will suit her, but not fast ground.

READ: Ruby Walsh: The Irish Grand National win I didn’t get any satisfaction from

Leagan Gaeilge

4 b f Vocalised – Feile Bride (Dylan Thomas) Owner: Mrs Jackie Bolger

Leagan Gaeilge was the winner of the Paddy Power “Only 364 Days Till Christmas” 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle at Leopardstown on December 27 on her first start over timber.

She’s rated 80 on the Flat and open to improvement. She’s ready to run and a mile or mile and two furlongs is probably her trip.

Good to yielding, good to soft is fine but she’s not ground dependent. She’s won at both Gowran Park and Leopardstown so I don’t think she needs a particular track.

She’s a very solid filly whose jumps campaign was curtailed by events out of her control. She’s done very well and I’m very happy with her.

If it’s still going, there are probably odds on it at

Made In Pimlico

3 ch g Dragon Pulse – Runway Giant (Giant’s Causeway) Owner: Martin Hayes and Peter Slezak

Made in Pimlico ran seven times as a two-year-old without being placed, finishing mid-division in a seven-furlong Galway nursery on his last start in October.

This fellow has done very well and strengthened up a lot over the winter. I think he’s well handicapped [a mark of 42] and in my opinion, he’ll be a pretty smart jumper in time.

He wants a mile or mile and two furlongs and a bit of ease in the ground is ideal. He’s owned by the same guys that own Punch Bag, who has won three hurdle races.

Sapphire Pearl

3 b f Ivawood – Pearl Blue (Exceed And Excel) Owner: Brendan Duke & Friends Syndicate

Sapphire Pearl ran three times as a two-year-old over six and seven furlongs with her best effort coming when 10th of 15 at Listowel in a fillies’ maiden in September.

This filly has improved a lot over the winter and has mentally grown up an awful lot, which she needed to do.

She’s done very well over this period, but she doesn’t really want fast ground and a mile is as far as she wants to go. I’m really happy with her progress and I’m looking forward to her running.

Trainer’s Pick

Leagan Gaeilge is the one with proven form on the board, while with the other horses I’m using my judgment. With the two-year-olds I’m backing the likes of Doctor Brown Bear, from a very good winner-producing family, and Enya Va.