Fran Berry’s Friday Selections
Fran Berry’s each-way double
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A 7f claimer where we could have a couple of non-runners as four of them in the field ran here on Wednesday. Lisieux is effective on soft ground but might not be as good on the polytrack. However, Pub Talk catches the eye. He wasn’t beaten too far in a competitive nursery last time without getting the smoothest of runs and with Colin Keane aboard from a good draw in stall five, he can be involved at the business end.
A 6f maiden should suit Maggie McGrath who has good, placed form to date. Smullens’s Pride steps up to 6f from the minimum too and that should suit while Ger Lyons Valkyrian should have a race of this nature in her, but a stall 16 draw could have been kinder.
Just inside her though is my fancy Excesso Velocidad, who makes her debut under Rules, but put up a good show in a barrier trial last July when finishing second. Joseph O’Brien’s maiden runners have been going really well here for the last few weeks and he can add to that tally against some exposed runners.
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A 5f handicap where Colin Keane rides for Michael O’Callaghan and could be on a handicap ‘blot’ in Lokada. She won a 5f maiden here in a three-way photo-finished three weeks ago off a rating of 58 and the third was rated 70. She only carries a 4lb penalty for that now so gets to race off a mark of 62 in her first handicap. She could be hard to beat.
One at a bit more value could be Juno Beach from stall one and he’s shaped better than the bare results show. He’s running off 50 now and has previous placed form in the mid-60s. Could be competitive especially if there’s a fast-pace in this race.
A 1m 4f apprentice handicap where Early Strike has taken a couple of good steps forward since returning form a two-year layoff. I’d like to see some headgear on Mosaaheb before I could pick him with any conviction as he does run around a bit, but is talented. Shona Mea has a chance and should be popular in the market for Jessica Harrington but I’ll stick with Cheateau Musar four 4lb claimer Tom Kiely Marshall.
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Not many horses run here having won a seller at Plumpton but Charles Byrnes’ bought back Wajaaha and he tops the weights in division two of the apprentice handicap under Dylan Browne McMonagle.
He’s the talking horse in this contest and has run well at this venue before. He could be hard to beat. Lucky Numbers has been running well and Princess Wannabe is stepping up in trip which could bring about more improvement.
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Ger Lyons Evidently So makes her debut so a market watch is advised as it is with the pair of Joseph O’Brien runners. Their stablemate Selador could benefit from the step up to the mile and if she’s ever going to win a race, it’ll be a mile contest around Dundalk.
Craft Irish was a good winner a couple of starts ago and Hodd’s Girl has been a revelation with three wins from five starts since joining Adrian McGuinness from Michael Halford’s yard. However, Dandyville still looks to have wriggle room from his mark and is well drawn in stall seven. Maritime Rules is one to watch for the future.
The finale is a two-mile handicap with a couple of dual purpose types in here from the Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott and Charles Byrnes’ yards. Thousand Tears could be very well handicapped on the Flat after a disappointing run in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham for Emmet Mullins. No Trouble could struggle to stay two miles but Lunar Power should handle it. Grandmaster Flash could improve again and has a good record at the track.
Willie Mullins brought Gibraltar to the track last week for a spin and he went well. He could be a handicap ‘snip’ off a mark of 83 now. He’ll need to settle better in his races though as he can be very keen in running, but has that bit of class. He’s my nap of the night. Cozone is the each-way alternative.
Fran Berry’s Friday Selections
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