Racing

Pat Smullen can guide Political Policy to Dundalk victory

Derby-winning jockey Pat Smullen can strike in the final race at Dundalk with Political Policy
Neville Ring

Pique Sous had to be withdrawn having run loose at Dundalk last week and the grey tries again at the same track tonight in the10-and-a-half-furlong Racing Post Handicap.

This distance looks the bare minimum for Willie Mullins's charge, however, and the 13-runner contest looks ultra-competitive with last-time-out course winners Duchessofflorence, Catchy Lass and Specific Gravity all very much in-form.

Political Policy and Poitin are positive players at this level too.

Last week's scheduled outing for Pique Sous was in a two-mile conditions race.

His participation in this handicap over a much shorter trip underlines just how anxious the trainer is to get a run into him before Lingfield and other big targets this spring.

Paul Townend replaces Pat Smullen but I'd rather be a watcher this time and Political Policy (Smullen), eased 2lb for his third to Rashaan last Friday, is of definite interest, along with the hat-trick-seeking Duchessofflorence, attempting to defy a 13lb climb.

Patrick bids to supplement a course and distance success a fortnight ago in the €24,000 six-furlong Gain Handicap, when he had tonight's

re-opposing pair Shepherd's Purse and Split The Atom in behind.

The Acclamation gelding had a little in hand that day and may well go in again. But I'd rather be with Shepherd's Purse on this occasion.

Trainer Johnny Levins saddles six of the 14 runners in the opening six-furlong sprint handicap. As such the race is of little interest as a betting medium.

It does, however provide an opportunity for the 48-rated Red All Star, third here behind Oor Jock and Strategic Heights over this trip at the beginning of the month.

Dandy Rock has improved with each start and looks a half-interesting recruit to the handicap ranks in division one of the 45-65 mile, while Joseph O'Brien's Ligeti looks open to further improvement in the second division.

These two races are confined to riders who have not ridden 10 winners, under either code, Flat or jumping, between the end of June and mid-February.

O'Brien has a strong hand numerically in the mile three-year-old handicap with Circus Ring, Sweetasever and Epitaph.

Sweetasever appeared somewhat unlucky in running over seven furlongs here on her penultimate outing and might go well

against Noel Meade's

luckless but consistent Sheisdiesel.

The mile three-year-old maiden looks weak enough and any market confidence behind Dermot Weld's newcomer Memorial Rose may be noteworthy.

Sir Danilo is best on ratings but is disappointing overall. Harbour A Secret over Allography and Remember The Days would be my preference.

Pure Action rates the formbook pick in the older horses' Elusive Pimpernel Maiden later on the card, although the Godolphin-owned Robe Of Honour is an interesting debutant for Michael Halford.

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