Irish expert Mark Milligan is siding with a couple on the all-weather at 'Fundalk' on Friday evening...
Mark Milligan is back with a couple of selections
He fancies recent winner to follow up
Newcomer to O'Brien yard still unexposed
Regular readers will know I was very keen on Hightimeyouwon for a handicap at Dundalk before Christmas, where he finished third. He belatedly fulfilled my expectations by winning here next time and yes, you guessed it, I didn't have a penny on!
However, that run confirmed he's still a seriously well handicapped horse and I'm hoping he can go in again in Friday's 1m handicap at 17:00.
A winner off a mark of 84 for Dermot Weld in the 2021 season (at one point rated as high 92), this 7-y-o gelding plummeted down the weights last year and his latest win came off a perch of just 74.
The handicapper has nudged him up 5lb for that win here a couple of weeks ago, but there's still plenty of handicapping scope with this one based on his previous exploits and connections have even talked about sending him over to the UK for the AW Championships.
If that's the case, he really needs to be winning off this sort of mark and I'm hopeful of another big run from this one.
Anthem National to call the tune on debut for O'Brien
The feature race on Dundalk's Friday card is an interesting 7f conditions event (17:30) that has attracted a field of five, with Joseph O'Brien likely to play a key hand in proceedings.
He fields the veteran San Andreas, who will possibly go off favourite, and also a newcomer to the yard in the shape of lightly raced 4-y-o Anthem National, who makes his first start for nine months.
Previously trained by Ed & Simon Crisford, this son of Dark Angel showed a fair level of form on the all-weather last winter, notably when third to Karl Burke's smart performer El Caballo in a listed race at Lingfield.
This may not be just a two-horse race, though, as Real Appeal kept some top company for Jessica Harrington last season and has joined an Ado McGuinness yard that know how to get the best out of new acquisitions.
However, I'd prefer to see a run from this one before jumping on board and am going to side with Anthem National, who should be open to plenty of progression on just his fifth career start.