Irish Racing Tips: Expect Halford's Barra to show a bit more at Dundalk

Racing will be behind closed doors at Dundalk on Friday

Racing returns in Ireland on Friday at Dundalk, and we have Alan Dudman on hand to mark your card for the day...

"The step up to 1m4f should suit for Friday, and priced at around the 7/1 mark, he could also be worth using as a Place bet."

Back Gougane Barra @ 8.88/1 in the 16:00 at Dundalk

Apprentice handicap a difficult puzzle for starters

In terms of the focus of the column for today, we have Friday's behind closed doors card at Dundalk. It's not the easiest fixture to unpick, granted, but there are plenty of angles to look at for the afternoon.

Kicking off at 13:30, we could be facing a "4/1 the field" handicap for apprentice riders. So it isn't easy.

One of the star young riders tipped for great things is Dylan Browne McMonagle, but it's hard to make a case for his mount Voyageofdiscovery. Likewise Kinch, who is the only last-time-out winner in the line-up. His draw in 17 is slightly off-putting.

There's a horse here that I have some previous with in the shape of James Lambe's Reverberation. I actually put him up in my Bets Of The Day column last time out, citing the reason as a well handicapped horse. He has been lowered another 2lb to 49, so the plan is still the same. He was far too keen in that Newcastle race, so with a maximum field of 14, I give him a chance Win and Place at 12.011/1 and 3.02/1.

Judge can get over the line at Dundalk

Joseph O'Brien's Line Judge looks a potential improver for the maiden at 14:00, and she showed enough ability to suggest another step forward could be on the cards here.

She made her debut at the track 63 days ago and stayed on very well at the end of the 7f to cap a nice introduction. She was a little keen and was nearly last with half a mile to go, but her best work was late on, and the additional furlong will suit.

Joseph O'Brien 1280.jpg

The filly also has a weight pull with more experienced runners, and potentially could have a bit more fitness on her side than some of her rivals. She was initially 5.79/2 on the Exchange when checking out the markets early, so it was no surprise small bits of that were snapped up, but is still worth a small interest along those lines. You can click here to read what the trainer has to say about her chances.

Straightforward task for O'Brien filly

The maiden at 15:00 looks at the mercy of Joseph O'Brien's Juliet Rose, who looked a winner-in-waiting following her second at the track behind a horse who was well-found in the market.

She isn't a bet for me at 2.245/4, though, but if it's your sort of price, it's difficult to make a case for anything else in the field.

Dermot Weld has two runners who both have top pedigrees in the shape of Unanswered and Haparanda. The latter is a relative of the dual-Derby winner Harzand, but they need to show a lot of improvement to trouble the favourite.

I wont pass up bet on Global

In one of my Sunday Irish Racing Tips columns last year, I highlighted trainer Richard O'Brien as a man to follow for the season. Unfortunately he didn't have that many winners, but in turn, he should have plenty of well treated runners for some of these competitive races. Hopefully O'Brien's luck will turn for 2020 as he is a talented handler, and it was great to see him fire one home last week.

That bodes well.

I am most interested in backing his Global Pass at double figures, as he is down to a career-low rating of 51. His four dismal runs in 2019 were symptomatic of the trainer's form during that time, so it was pleasing to see him show a bit more in a race at the track over 1m4f for his latest run. The trip looked as though it stretched him on that occasion and he didn't get home, so the drop back to 1m2f looks ideal.

Memories of Maylane come flooding back with Barra

For those with good memories, and plenty of years behind them too, you might recall a horse of Alec Stewart's called Maylane. It was around the time I was first getting into racing, and I seemed to remember him blowing the start on a daily basis. You can click here to view Maylane coming from a mile back as usual in one of his races at Goodwood. I didn't realise at the time what a terrific horse he was. With a bit of menace too.

Michael Halford's Gougane Barra is one of the same. If he can sort out his problems in missing the break, hopefully he can win a race, and hopefully this one.

He finished second at the track to Jon Ess recently, and got away okay on that occasion. However, he produced his party trick last time over 1m2, and got beaten a length.

The step up to 1m4f should suit for Friday, and priced at around the 7/1 mark, he could also be worth using as a Place bet. The trainer also does well with his horses at this venue.

And what an in-running character Maylane would have been.

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