Horse Racing Tips: Fran Berry’s best bets at Dundalk under the Friday night lights

Top Sporting Life columnist Fran Berry has napped Sistine Madonna (8pm) in the feature race.

*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

17:00 – Astelia

Dalvey will be popular in this opening 1m 2f contest having wo over course and distance before. He sets a good standard in this apprentice claiming race. Michael O’Callaghan’s Rene Artois would have a big shout if coming back to something like his juvenile form at this venue but was behind Dalvey last time on his return to action. However, I like the unexposed three-year-old Astelia.

Trainer Jessica Harrington has booked Scott McCullagh and that will be a huge help. She’s ran well at the Curragh twice already and can make the transition to Dundalk’s surface pay off with first-time cheekpieces fitted.


17:30 – King Aurthur’s Sword

A 1m 2f handicap for horses who have a max rating of 70 and it’s very competitive. There’s plenty of former winners in it and a couple who look like they’re improving. Riccardi Medici is interesting at the foot of the weights while Turf Range has won his last three but hasn’t race in nearly a year, although he has won after a long break before. My two against the field are the top-weigh and winner of her last two races Draco Pulcharc and my pick King Arthurs Sword.

He put an eye-catching finish last time when fourth to Dragon Roll here over 11 furlongs. Given he has dropped 21lb in the ratings with little racing, he could be a dark horse and the one to beat. Billy Lee takes the ride and is chasing hard for the Irish jockeys’ title race and is one ahead of Colin Keane. Both are desperate for winners from outside stables to get them over the line.



18:00 – Max Mayhem

Another 1m 2f handicap but a significant step in class with runners rated from 72 to 94 declared. Billy Lee is a big part of Paddy Twomey’s success and rides the unexposed three-year-old, Once Upon A River. Paddy has a 32 per cent winning strike rate at Dundalk since it opened. Once Upon A River mightn’t have stayed the 1m 4f the last time and could be more a home dropping back in trip.

However, I’m not convinced a rating of 94 is merited and I prefer a tough, hardened handicapper, Max Mayhem trained by Joseph O’Brien. He carries top weight and handles good ground so Dundalk should suit. A good draw in stall seven helps also. He could be a great each-way play depending on the price.

18:30 – Miss Yvonne

A 7f Nursery where there’s not too many previous winners. Colin Keane rides Skip James for Ger Lyons and should reverse the Fairyhouse form with Approaching Bear. For me though, Pub Talk has better form and is of interest but Miss Yvonne could be a handicap blot off a mark of 72 on her handicap debut. I’ll take a chance on her potential.

19:00 – Istrumental

The Bog Bank is thriving at the moment and should be a big player. The one negative is that she drops to 7f but all her wins have come over a mile. She will need to break well though. Instrumental should be suited by 7f too as should Tawaazon and Chevillon.The percentage play for me though is Instrumental for James McAuley and Shane Foley.




19:30 – Endless Season

Eglish doesn’t know how to run a bad race at Dundalk but has risen to a mark of 67 without winning recently so may struggle to give weight to a couple of rivals. Maestro Stick can be hard to catch and a stall 13 draw won’t help so I’m prepared to give Endless Season another chance back at this 7f trip.

Her form ties in with Instrumental so see how he runs in the 7pm. She has a great draw in stall three, should get a bit of cover and can be delivered late on, hopefully, at an each-way price.

20:00 – Sistine Madonna (NAP)

The feature race of the night is a 7f Fillies Handicap where Affogato is rated 19lbs clear of her nearest rival, but I’m against her carrying top weight as she’s only a slight filly who may struggle to carry that burden. Her presence could make the market for my fancy Sistine Madonna who gets 18lb off her at the weights. She comes here fresh, is open to improvement and had good course form here in maidens.

20:30 – Bua

The finale is a 6f maiden where Karakoul is the highest rated on 77 of those who have had runs. He was good on debut at this track when second to Zabeir. Greek Flower has been running over different trips, is consistent and is also a barrier trial winner at this venue, so could be a bit of value.

There are a lot of newcomers though and I’m going with Bua for Paddy Twomey & Billy Lee. Given their record and a good draw in stall one, she could be different class if she has any sort of ability.

Fran’s Friday Dundalk tips

17:00 – Astelia
17:30 – King Arthurs Sword
18:00 – Max Mayhem
18:30 – Miss Yvonne
19:00 – Instrumental
19:30 – Endless Season
20:00 – Sistine Madonna (NAP)
20:30 – Bua

*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


The latest Horse Racing odds are on now

The Paddy Power Guide To Safer Gambling – Everything You Need To Know