Pronounced can be a clear winner for O'Brien in Dundalk
DUNDALK stages its second meeting of the week this evening. The three-year-old median auction maiden offers the top prize of the night, €16,000, and draws an 11-runner field seemingly dominated by Halford's Roman Wells and Bolger's 70-rated filly Teo's Music. Roman Wells made two appearances here during the winter, being sent of a 5/4 chance in a winners' race against Swish at the end of March but finding that favourite, once rated 96, a length-and-a-half too good for him. This is a step down in class for him and unless either of the Lyons pair, Spiral Galaxy or Spiritual Law are above average, then Roman Wells is the principal player.
With the 5lb sex allowance, Teo's Music, has to be something of a threat after promising enough efforts in back-end maidens. But this will be her seventh outing, she wore blinkers when running freely in the Leopardstown nursery won by Elizabeth Browning and was a beaten even money favourite at Galway in September. 11lb lower now, she might be worth keeping in mind for a fillies' handicap depending how she comes out of this.
Bolger might have a favourite earlier on the card with Godolphin's newcomer Clinical Approach in the four-year-old an up maiden over 10-and-a-half. The pair he has to beat, 63 rated Lost History and Justice Ears (58) are nothing to get enthusiastic about. Clinical Approach has obviously had problems that have delayed his debut but this is not a testing task.
The seven-furlong colts and geldings maiden concerns three at first glance, with the 84-rated Ger Lyons four-year-old Silk Cravat, a Newmarket cast-off from Simon Crisford's yard, very much the one to beat.
Curragh-trained Ma Fee Heela was well thought of earlier this season and started favourite on his Naas debut but couldn't cope with Alphabet and was trounced some five-and-a-half lengths by that Ballydoyle filly. He turned out again within a fortnight, ran in front to over a furlong down in the Leopardstown heat won by Irishcorrespondent, before eventually finishing fifth. This is a drop down in class. Iskandar Prince would have some potential to be a player also. Ma Fee Heela can come good at the expense of older Silk Cravat.
Bottleofsmoke went up 10lb in the handicapper's estimation after his Roscommon win last Monday. He only has to carry 6lb of that here as a fixed penalty in the 12-furlong handicap. Looks the most likely winner over Locus Standi and Manormine. The mile three-year-old handicap is a real possibility for Joseph O'Brien's Pronounced, dropped 6lb for her last two runs and wears blinkers for the first time. Might have Shawami to beat although Annie Apple and I Am Titanium are two lightweights with chances of sorts.
Elusive In Paris and Mustadaam are the best weighted pair in the claimer. The former is the more consistent but Indian Tomahawk and Crown Pleasure could both outrun their ratings. The concluding sprint handicap affords chances to plenty but just how many can seize the opportunity presented to them? I like Pillar, Sartori and Strategic Heights against the field.
Selections: Neville Ring
5.40 Elusive In Paris
6.10 Clinical Approach
6.45 Bottleofsmoke (Dbl)
7.20 Roman Wells
7.55 Pronounced (Nap)
8.25 Ma Fee Heela
Selections: Next Best
6.10 Lost History
6.45 Kocus Standi
7.20 Teo's Music
8.25 Silk Cravat