Dundalk All-Weather on a Friday night is often the preserve of the few, the focus of 'Get In' or 'The Friday Club' on the racing subscription channels.
In a fairly bizarre turn of events that has annoyed many, racing at Dundalk All-Weather track on Friday afternoon will be the main event. The bridesmaid finally gets to don the white dress, even if nobody will actually be there.
Happy St Patrick’s Day from all at Dundalk Stadium, keep safe! #RTEVirtualParade #StPatricksDay pic.twitter.com/XLYpXPYXV1
— Dundalk Stadium (@DundalkStadium) March 17, 2020
Warning, low-grade horseracing on a synthetic surface is literally and metaphorically many many miles from the bright lights of Cheltenham, and given the quality on show, it can throw up the odd funny result. However, given its idiosyncracy it can also create course specialists.
The card opens with a traditional 45 to 65 handicap over a mile. For newcomers to the Dundalk delights, this is standard fare. In the context of the rest of the horseracing world, this is the lowest band of flat handicap.
1.30 Winter Series Awards Day Apprentice Hcap
Predictably there are plenty of previous winners on show and Johnny Levins could hold the key to the race with Kinch one of his three runners.
Assuming he is a slightly bigger price Reverberation ran a nice race two runs back over track and trip, he has a good draw in five so if he gets a similar passage to that run on Valentine's day, he can get involved having won off a higher mark previously.
2.00 Love Your Mum At The Races Weekend Median Auction Race
There is a small field for the feature race on the card, where the reigning Champion Jockey Donnacha O'Brien goes in search of his second official winner as a trainer with Flower Garland.
O'Brien's horse is looking a little exposed and her official mark of 79 doesn't appear to have much leniency. Aerclub is a relatively rare flat runner for Henry DeBromhead, but he has had a few flat winners in recent years. There is a possiblility Dune of Pilat flatters the form a littel but Aerclub still looks progressive enough to win this.
2.30 Crowne Plaza Dundalk Race & Stay Claiming Race
Denis Hogan is clearly a big fan of claiming races at Dundalk, from 50 runners he has 10 places and four winners. He will win this one too with the top two in the market, Tony the Gent and the odds-on favourite Yuften, who only needs to be within a stone of his rating to win. They should finish first and second, as the rest look very ordinary.
3.00 View Restaurant At Dundalk Stadium Maiden
The Joseph O'Brien trained Juliet Rose will be a deserved favourite for this ten runner affair. Haparanda is from an Aga Khan family full of winners. She was disqualified at Galway through no fault of her own but ran into several fillies with very high career aspirations that day. Haparanda could be an each-way bet to nothing.
3.30 Irishinjuredjockeys.com Handicap
More 45-65 stuff here, and one who's family would be ashamed of him being seen in such company is Mithmaar. Denis Hogan's charge has his first outing in a handicap at the lowest level, and stepping up in trip will help this son of Sea the Stars. His half-brother won a Group One so Mithmaar at least has a pedigree edge on the rest of these.
4.00 Crowne Plaza Dundalk Race & Stay Handicap
There are plenty of Friday regulars in the field for this handicap. Muzbid has been a remarkably consistent performer at this level for the last few months and the handicapper hasn't been too harsh on him for a recent win. with several of these completely out of form, he could run another consistent race.
4.30 Easter Week Racing 15th & 19th April Handicap
Very few horses win four races in a row, attempting it in competitive sprint handicaps is even rarer. Major Power goes for four in a row under an 18-pound penalty for his recent successes. this strapping son of Bated Breath, who is related to champion Sprinter Slade Power, also trained by Eddie Lynam can probably cope with the extra weight. it will be a rare feat, and given the circumstances, more people than normal may get the chance to see it!
5.00 Ladies Day Sunday 12th July Handicap
Lady Maura is related to some really decent sorts and can improve from her seasonal debut three weeks ago. This filly wasn't beaten far when supported two runs ago at Dundalk, she encountered a little bit of trouble that day. The closer on the card isn't a great race and Lady Maura can get in the frame