Political Party can gatecrash Pique Sous party at Dundalk
PIQUE Sous, a Royal Ascot winner in his prime, makes his latest return from injury in the €20,000 two-mile feature race at Dundalk this evening.
The Willie Mullins-trained grey enjoyed his finest hour in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Ascot in 2014 under Ryan Moore.
Prior to that, Pique Sous was a top-class bumper horse, finishing third at Cheltenham to Champagne Fever, and the following year he was sixth in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle behind the same stablemate.
Injuries have held him back in recent seasons and having scoured the programme for a suitable opening, Mullins lets him take his chance on the polytrack ahead of a possible crack at Lingfield’s Winter Derby later this month.
“He has had a couple of niggles, nothing serious,” said Steve Massey, spokesman for his owners, the Supreme Horse Racing Club.
“We are happy with him now and it is great to have him back. He owes us nothing after his Royal Ascot win, although we feel there are a few big races left in him as he has very low mileage for a 10-year-old.
“He has got plenty of speed, which he showed in bumpers.”
Pique Sous faces nine rivals, with champion jockey Pat Smullen booked for the ride.
His opponents include Matthew Smith’s dual course scorer Winter Lion and the Colin Kidd-trained Rashaan, who returns to the Flat having been off the track since claiming the scalp of Apple’s Jade in the WKD Hurdle at Down Royal in November.
His Flat rating leaves him a bit to find on Pique Sous but he has class and is gearing up for the big spring jumping festivals.
Political Policy was beaten two-and-a-half lengths here last week behind Specific Gravity and is the alternative to Pique Sous.
A Dubai winter stint was on the agenda at one stage for Alfredo Arcano but David Marnane decided against it and his charge goes for a hat-trick in the seven-furlong three-year-old’ conditions race. Among the five taking him on is Fizzy Friday, who made a successful debut over track and trip in November.
Despite failing to get his head in front, Sebastian Bach kept decent company on turf during his first campaign and reappears in the opening six-furlong maiden. He should go well here on his first effort on the poly surface.
Goodnite Irina was a fair third behind Magen’s Moon and Zinat a fortnight ago and can chase him home.
As a daughter of the stable’s former top filly Mad About You, Dermot Weld will be eager to get a win into Heartful and she makes her comeback in the mile fillies’ maiden. She beat all bar Seventh Heaven on her introduction here less than a year ago and should rise to this without too much difficulty.
Our Manekineko has been in good heart in recent weeks and the step back up in trip in the mile handicap will suit.
Guanabara Bay was two places ahead of him when second a fortnight ago, and then went one better last week. He bids for a quick follow-up in the apprentice handicap and might be too strong for The Lord’s Walk and Lily’s Prince.
4.55 Sebastian Bach (Dbl); 5.30 Political Policy; 6.00 Heartful (Nap); 6.30 Our Manekineko; 7.00 Alfredo Arcano; 7.30 Guanabara Bay; 8.00 Asian Wing; 8.30 Ruby Gates
Neville's Next Best
4.55 Goodnite Irina; 5.30 Pique Sous; 6.00 Nivvo; 6.30 Keukenhof; 7.00 Fizzy Friday; 7.30 Lily’s Prince; 8.00 No Biggie; 8.30 Carvelas