Horse Racing Tips

Dundalk Friday Tips: Hotrocket to fire home

Dundalk
Mark Milligan has a pair of selections at Dundalk on Friday

Mark Milligan had a good winner at Dundalk last Friday and is back with another couple of selections this week...

  • Mark Milligan aims to build on his winner last week

  • Miss Abby Jools the pick in apprentice affair

  • Hotrocket to strike on debut for new yard


The second division of the 1m apprentice handicap (18:30) at Dundalk on Friday is a much more interesting contest than the first, featuring several who come into it in decent form.

Top of plenty of shortlists is sure to be Cousin Shay, who is still relatively lightly raced and showed improved form to get off the mark over a furlong shorter at this track last week.

The son of Cotai Glory travelled with plenty of enthusiasm from off the pace that day, eventually staying to lead close home and gain a narrow verdict over Lion Ring, with the slightly disappointing favourite Finke River back in third.

He steps back up to 1m here but, despite finishing runner-up over C&D back in January, hasn't yet fully convinced at this trip for me and it's no surprise connections have reached for a hood to try and help him settle a little better.

I'm going to take this one on with Miss Abby Jools, who won over C&D in September and wasn't seen to best effect when attempting to follow up a couple of weeks ago.

Unlike Cousin Shay, Miss Abby Jools sees this trip out thoroughly and will likely stay even further given the opportunity. With that in mind, the race didn't really develop to suit her last time, given the leaders went slow early and it developed into something of a sprint for home.

She did well in the circumstances to finish runner-up there, the only one of the first five home not have a prominent position early doors.

With a field of fourteen going to post for this contest, I'm hoping she'll have a bit more pace to aim at this time, and if that is the case, she looks sure to put up a bold display.

Hotrocket of major interest on first start for O'Brien

The feature 7f rated race at 19:00 has a really interesting look to it and it will probably pay to focus on those towards the head of the weights as the conditions of the race largely suit them more than the lower rated runners.

By far the most intriguing of the runners is the unexposed Hotrocket, who was a winner when last seen in the summer and has now joined Joseph O'Brien from John Joseph Murphy's yard.

This son of Starspangledbanner quickened up really smartly in that Fairyhouse performance, winning in the manner of a horse who could eventually go on to be better than a handicapper.

It's unlikely that his new owners Team Valour and Donegal Racing have purchased this one just for him to knock around in mid-level handicaps for the rest of his career but this rated race looks the perfect stepping stone before he goes presumably up in class.

He also draws well on the inside and should have a perfect pitch turning for home before the excellent Dylan Brown McMonagle unleashes the turn of foot that was so in evidence at Fairyhouse last time.

In short, I'll be disappointed if Hotrocket doesn't prove a bit too classy for this level of opposition.

Recommended bets

Mark's UK/Ire P&L

Staked: 296 Returns: 361.21 P/L: +65.21

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