SHAMROCK HEADS FOR THE HILLS AT 14.0: A cracking nursery opens the card at Dundalk, with Shamrock naming a horse called ‘Hills’ at 14.0 Betdaq value. In the afternoon, he hunts out heavy-ground animals at Listowel.
Form! What’s that? There are three races at Listowel today, where only nine of 34 horses have winning form.
As for winners on bog-heavy ground, which you have today – the meeting narrowly survived an inspection – you have just eight all day.
They are: 3.05 Footy Facts and Wins Now; 3.40 Forjoetheplumber, Rock The Book and Son of Oscar; 4.15 Ardglen and d’S Trix; and 5.25 Urban Beach.
I’ll side with Ardglen (4.15), back in top gear over fences but still rated lower than his hurdles form, and with trainer ‘Shark’ Hanlon having hit seven winners in the last fortnight, including Ardglen’s comfy win at Ballinrobe on Monday.
Having moaned about the Listowel form, Dundalk’s no better: there’s only one AW winner in the first three races (two of them maidens, of course).
But, in fact, the opener is the best race all day: one or two of these fillies wouldn’t be out of place in the Fillies Mile at Newmarket (3.00), for which Ballydoyle’s Devotion seems to be any price you like.
The super-consistent An Ghalanta was narrowly beaten by Sophies Echo at The Curragh before Devotion beat that one at Leopardstown.
Hestian has also finished in front of the yardstick An Ghalanta and Limetree Lady looked speedy when winning at Cork.
Muckle Bahoochie,the only winner on this Polytrack surface, has the best draw and will feel more at home here than when tackling the Group-3 Marble Hull.
There’s 21lb between top and bottom of the handicap, which is unusual these days, and nothing has won it above 8st 12lb, according to my stats.
So it is that the trio of class horses, which are the first three in the market, are up against it: I’ll have an old punt each way on Chocolate Hills (14.0 on Betdaq) from the prolific sprinting stock of Exceed And Excel.
NAP: Ardglen (4.15 Listowel)
NEXT BEST: Wading (7.00 Dundalk)
OUTSIDERS: Devotion (3.00 Newmarket), Chocolate Hills (6.00 Dundalk)
DAQ TRIO: Ardglen (4.15 Listowel), Chocolate Hills (6.00 Dundalk), Wading (7.00 Dundalk)