Horse Racing tips: Brendan Duke’s 5 to thrive at Limerick & Tramore on Sunday

Brendan Duke returns to cast his eye over the best of Irish racing on Sunday.

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* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

A quick review of my long awaited trip to the races. Pretty, pretty good. Irish Derby day was a most enjoyable one for me. The big race was a thrilling spectacle. There are two meetings for our consideration on Sunday, Limerick on the Flat, and Tramore over the sticks. There is the potential for 10 millimetres of rain on Saturday, and further showers on Sunday. That’s not ideal, but I don’t believe the ground will ride any worse than good to soft at both venues.

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13:35 Limerick – Double Kodiac

Double Kodiac is interesting in this 7-furlong handicap and this five-year-old remains relatively unexposed. He was rated in the mid 80’s 18 months ago, but competes from a mark in the low 70’s here.

He put up a really solid effort when sixth in Naas last time out and that run came in better company than he faces on Sunday. That form looks rock solid and the extra furlong here should be in his favour. Leanne Breen has her string in good nick.

A wide draw on this sharp track is a concern, but there does look to be plenty of early pace on though. DOUBLE KODIAC isn’t short of tactical speed and you can expect Chris Hayes to get a reasonable position. If that happens, this ground versatile sort should go very close off his lenient rating. The extra place concession sweetens the deal.

14:45 Limerick – Liberty Star

Robert Whearty is a jockey who has caught my eye recently. This 10lbs claimer looks a far more accomplished rider than that huge weight allowance would suggest. He faces a tricky assignment with LIBERTY STAR in this one.

This horse is inclined to race on and off the bridle, but it could just be greenness as he has only had four career starts after all. He endured a tough trip on handicap debut in Roscommon a few weeks ago. He wasn’t quick enough to hold his position, and ended up wide on the track in an attempt to secure clear sailing.

Finishing a not-knocked-about fourth wasn’t a bad effort in the circumstances. The second and third have won subsequently. The horse runs off the same mark here and if young Whearty can help the horse to take advantage of a low draw, it will be surprising if anything finishes quicker. I believe this jockey has the skills to pull this job off. This is another extra-place race.

16:15 Tramore – Darkened

We go over to Tramore for a 2m hurdle and the eye is naturally drawn to Attitash here, a Willie Mullins runner in such lowly grade is hard to miss. He should go close but did get beaten last time out, and is inclined to run a bit free.

DARKENED might be worth chancing and this horse had a good time on the Flat last year. He has shown very little this year, but we saw signs of life last time out in Gowran Park. He was notably strong in the betting that day, perhaps connections felt he had turned a corner.

In the event, a combination of a breaking sluggishly and a sub-optimal trip scuppered his chances. He stuck on pretty well, though. He’s an unexposed sort over hurdles, and races from a lenient mark based on Flat ability. His jumping is a slight concern, but it’s only the occasional mistake that has hurt his chances. If cutting out that odd error, he looks a sporting play here.

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16:30 Limerick – Right Turn

The Limerick card closes with a decent handicap over an extended 12 furlongs and we get yet another extra place here. Pleasing scenes! RIGHT TURN will be hard to kick out of the frame and this lightly raced sort has run well in both handicap starts thus far.

He finished fifth in a Leopardstown race that worked out well before a close second in Down Royal last time out. You could argue that Right Turn had a tactical edge that day, as he raced close to the pace in a slowly run race. You could also make the case that the race was an insufficient stamina test for the horse.

He also had to race three wide most of the way. The extra two furlongs here in a race that promises to be run at a fair clip should be just the ticket. That might just be enough to overcome a three-pound hike in the weights.

17:25 Tramore – Clonbury Bridge

CLONBURY BRIDGE should prove hard to beat in this handicap hurdle, as his five-year-old remains unexposed. He arrives here in really good nick and he beat a horse coming off the back of a win in Limerick on penultimate start.

He then went down narrowly in Downpatrick. The winner that day, Schone Aussicht, is an unexposed sort over hurdles. She was also coming off a win on previous start and she puts that form to the test in the novice hurdle at 15:40.

I suspect she will go close. It looked like Clonbury Bridge was slightly done for speed that day and this four furlong step up in trip should be right up his alley. I’ll be surprised if a 3lbs rise in the weights can stop him here.

Brendan’s Sunday selections

13:35 Limerick – Double Kodiac
14:45 Limerick – Liberty Star
16:15 Tramore – Darkened
16:30 Limerick – Right Turn
17:25 Tramore – Clonbury Bridge

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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