O'Brien and McMonagle to rule over rivals
18:00 Dundalk - Back Will Be King @ 5.04/1
Off to Dundalk we go for the first bet of the evening, and Will Be King makes a bit of appeal for trainer Joseph O'Brien.
The Betfair Ambassador is proving to be a real force at the all-weather venue these days, and alongside Mick Halford's runners, they tend to be the go-to duo for many.
O'Brien also has a potential star of the future at his yard in the shape of apprentice jockey Dylan Browne McMonagle. And if you hadn't heard of him previously, he broke all sorts of records as a pony champion, won numerous titles, and even won the prestigious Dingle Derby. For good measure, he's a champion boxer too.
From what I have seen of his fledgling career, he does look a good rider. In fact, he won on the selection at 1m in December with a cool ride from an inside draw, and Will Be King looks like the sort of horse that does need playing late to pick them off. He's at 7f this evening, so a big field should bring into play his extra stamina.
Last time out he didn't find an awful lot, but from the box seat on the inside, it could pan out quite well for him. He's from 71, and he is still reasonably treated on his old 2018 form.
O'Brien can double up and take the maiden
20:00 Dundalk - Back Bombshell @ 5.04/1
It's another Joseph O'Brien selection for the penultimate race on the card, and Bombshell looks worth a punt at around 5.04/1 on the Exchange.
For a maiden, there are various strands to this.
Healey's Double is clearly the form pick on her Curragh maiden second, but that was in August, whilst American Lady has run to a level that should be good enough to take a race of this nature, but she's been off for 140 days too.
Add to that Aqueliga, and an absence of 238 days.
That leaves me with Bombshell, and O'Brien's filly was much better last time at the track when finishing second to a potentially useful horse in Big Gossey. The winner clocked a good time in that and looked a very speedy sort, so there was no shame in running behind. And she keeps the tongue tie on for tonight.
Bombshell can be slowly away, so that's a concern, but she did race on the 20th December and has a bit more fitness on her side than some of her rivals. With that in mind, I am happy in playing at the prices. She cost a few quid too at 575,00 as a breeze-up.