Horse Racing Tips

Dundalk Friday Tips: Ballydoyle to double up

Mark Milligan has three bets on Friday's Dundalk card
  • Mark Milligan's weekly Friday Dundalk column returns
  • A good night is expected for the Aidan O'Brien yard
  • Three selections including a 10/1 each way swing

A staple of the winter racing calendar in Ireland are the Friday night meetings at Dundalk - or Fundalk as I'm contractually obliged to call it. These got underway a few weeks ago and will take us through those deep, dark months before we emerge into the welcoming light of spring.

There'll be plenty of run-of-the-mill action along the way but this week's meeting plays host to a couple of listed contests that add a bit of class to proceedings.

British raider fancied

The 5f Irish Stallions Farms EBF Legacy Stakes (17:25) looks competitive and will likely see Apricot Twist and Coralillo vying for favouritsim.

They both made the frame in the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes at the Curragh in August, with Coralillo finishing just ahead, though she's subsequently disappointed as market leader in the listed race at Fairyhouse.

There shouldn't be much between them once again but I'm looking elsewhere and am siding with George Boughey's raider Malrescia, who I believe is in better heart than her recent form figures suggest.

This daughter of Acclamation won a couple of small races in the spring and went on to acquit herself well in better company, notably when second to the smart Lezoo at Newmarket in June.

Malrescia was much further behind that rival in the Cheveley Park on the Rowley Mile last week but I'm not going to hold that against her in what was a hot Group 1 contest. She also had excuses when well held behind Trillium the time before (losing her footing and action early on).

If she can come back to the sort of form she was showing prior to those last two outings, she'll give a good account of herself.

Cairo to appreciate drop in trip

The other listed race, the Irish Stallions EBF Star Appeal Stakes (19:00), can go the way of Aidan O'Brien's unexposed Cairo, who is making just his third start.

Runner-up in a 6f maiden at the Curragh on debut, this son of the excellent US sire Quality Road got off the mark at the second time of asking at the same track next time.

Stepping up to a mile there, he only just seemed to get home having travelled well and was clinging on by the finish.

This drop back in trip is sure to suit and he has a pedigree that suggests he should excel on an artificial surface.

He also looks open to plenty more progression and this listed contest seems a good stepping-stone before he potentially goes on to better things, perhaps even the Breeders' Cup Juvenile given his sire.

Progressive sort to land hat-trick

I fancy Aidan O'Brien to take the 1m 4f handicap (20:30) that closes the card too, as he fields another unexposed type in the shape of Gulliver's Travels.

The application blinkers has brought about improvement from this well-bred son of Galileo, who cost an awful lot of money as a yearling (2 million euros to be precise).

While it looks unlikely he'll pay back that sort of outlay in the long term, he's going the right way now and has shown a good attitude to land his last two starts.

Stamina seems to be the selection's strong suit so I would expect the in-form Wayne Lordan to ride him handily from what looks an interesting opening handicap mark of 93.

The main danger looks to be Joseph O'Brien's Amortentia, who was an unlucky loser last time but does have to prove his stamina for this extra 2f (not a given on pedigree).

Recommended bets

Mark's UK/Ire P&L

Staked: 281 Returns: 342.33 P/L: +61.33


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