Several of the principal runners have been drawn badly in the Dundalk car park for the Listed Legacy Stakes for the juveniles over five furlongs in our second race this Friday evening.
Chief Little Hawk (stall 14) and Frenetic (stall 15) have raced forward in most of their races this season and it will be interesting to see if both Padraig Beggy and Colin Keane can find good early positions without using up too much energy. Steel Bull returns home from his fifth-place finish at Doncaster and alongside New Treasure gives away plenty of weight to rivals.
MEASURE OF MAGIC gets 10lbs from both those rivals and could provide Johnny Murtagh with another nice winner this season with jockey Danny Sheehy back in the saddle. The daughter of Kodi Bear was ahead of both Steel Bull and Frenetic when third in the Flying Childers and, despite finishing behind Chief Little Hawk in the Ballyhane Stakes at Naas, has solid consistent form this season. Her victory over Miss Amulet at Down Royal earlier this summer reads well and her positive draw in stall 3 can see her return to winning ways and claim success.
Adrian McGuinness secured victory in this moderate-looking race 12 months ago when Shane Foley guided home Pocotaligo and the Lusk-based trainer can help Colin Keane in his title battle this year with ZAHEE. The ex-Godolphin-owned runner was sold for £16,000 at the Goffs UK Summer sale in July and wears a hood on his Irish debut for McGuiness. Despite a long break since last September at Wolverhampton, the now 75-rated son of Iffraaj could have enough to see off this opposition.
Scott McCullagh takes off 5lbs from Big White Chief, which should help his chances despite a wide draw, while I Know I Can is another for trainer John Oxx who looks one of the main dangers to my selection. The three-year-old drops back a furlong from his third-place finish at Killarney and was also third here over course and distance two starts ago in mid-August. Strange Times was staying on nicely when last seen at Limerick and is another for the shortlist, while Sindhia ran a creditable second to Pearls Galore also at Limerick in July.
I selected ADMIRAL NELSON in this column when the son of Kingman managed to secure his maiden on debut at the Curragh in June and I’m happy to give him the seal of approval yet again in the Listed Star Appeal Stakes. Royal Ascot perhaps came too soon after his debut success, but his fourth-place effort in the Richmond Stakes reads well to give him a good chance following a break from his latest run in the Phoenix Stakes at HQ last month. The extra furlong and this surface will suit nicely under jockey Emmet McNamara in a contest trainer Aidan O’Brien has managed to win six times over the past 12 seasons.
Magnanimous returns quickly for Joseph O’Brien and has been a solid and consistent juvenile who deserves his chance in listed company following his latest success in good fashion at Listowel. Stablemate Toshizo under Declan McDonagh should improve for his victory at Tipperary with Deputy Sandy another interesting runner for Jessica Harrington following a debut win at Naas earlier this month. Finally, Ides of August can’t be ruled out despite returning quickly following his run last Saturday behind High Definition at HQ, with jockey Colin Keane even more eager than normal to find plenty more winners in his title battle.
We end our action with a competitive 1m 4f handicap with several of these rivals meeting again following a battle on track here seven days ago. The Joseph O’Brien-trained Eaglemont got the better of both Golden Valour and Shake A Leg when staying on for victory under jockey Mickey Sheehy last week.
Despite being raised in the ratings he might have enough to once again see off those rivals as the horse to beat. Elsewhere, Creationist is having his second start for trainer Ken Condon, but the handicapper is taking no chances while Aidan O’Brien’s Kipling, who returns following a poor performance as a beaten favourite at the Curragh.
Danny Sheehy takes off 5lbs from the Noel Meade-trained Curious Bride, who won in easy fashion at Cork 16 days ago with the handicapper raising him from 64 to a new official rating of 81.
WAR DIARY gets the each-way verdict for Mick Halford following his nice staying-on performance when finishing second at Gowran Park last month, with the five-year-old making his all-weather debut here. He’s lightly raced this season with just three starts, with his victory off 80 at the Curragh last season catching my eye when formerly trained by John Joe Murphy.
He saw off a good yardstick in 105-rated Sea The Lion on that occasion which might be good enough to see him return to winning ways for the first time under the stewardship of Halford – who won this race in 2012.
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Dundalk bet summary – Friday, October 2
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