Horse Racing Tips

Dundalk Friday Tips: Progressive Manaccan to take Group 3

Mark Milligan has a trio of selections on Friday

Mark Milligan has taken a look ahead to Friday's Dundalk meeting and has three selections to consider...

  • Manaccan to continue on the up
  • Londoner sure to improve
  • Fawkner Park looks the best bet

There's a bit more quality to this Friday's Dundalk meeting than last week, with the a cracking renewal of the Group 3 Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Pat Smullen Mercury Stakes taking centre stage over 5f at 19:30.

There isn't a great deal between a handful of these on official ratings, with Harry's Bar leading the way from Erosandpsyche and English raider Manaccan.

Harry's Bar has built up a good record at this track and lost little in defeat when narrowly beaten into third behind The Highway Rat and Log Hunter over C&D three weeks ago.

The Highway Rat and Logo Hunter are both back to renew rivalries again and it's not hard to see the three of them being split by narrow margins once again.

It would be a brave man that could choose between the three, so I'm heading in a different direction and siding with Manaccan, who has been a most progressive young sprinter this year.

John Ryan's colt showed improved form when fitted with a tongue tie in the summer, since when he's come out on top in a handicap and a pair of listed races, the most recent of them coming at Ascot at the start of this month.

He also finished a narrow third to Roger Varian's Mitbaahy in Group 3 company on his penultimate start, form that gives him a very serious chance as he steps back up to that level once more.

Throw into the mix that his Group 3 doesn't look as deep as the one at Newbury and I'll be disappointed if Manaccan doesn't put up a very strong showing.

Londoner can improve enough to strike at the second attempt

The 1m 2-y-o maiden at 20:00 has attracted a big field but there doesn't seem to be all that much quality in there and I'm hopeful that Aidan O'Brien's Londoner can improve enough to take this on just his second start.

This son of Saxon Warrior shaped with plenty of promise when fourth to stable companion Salt Lake City at Navan earlier this month, where he showed plenty of inexperience but was getting the hang of things well enough by the end.

There are several of his rivals who merit respect but the one who caught my eye the most is the filly Semantics, who's shown plenty of ability in three starts to date on turf.

She's got an American dirt pedigree so ought to take to the surface well enough, though she's not open to the same amount of progression as Londoner.

Fawkner Park to take the lucky last

A 3-y-o+ maiden closes the card at 20:30 and this looks an ideal opportunity for Joseph O'Brien's Fawkner Park to get off the mark at the third time of asking.

Green when third on his debut at Killarney at the start of this month, he then showed improved form to finish fifth in a strong-looking maiden at Leopardstown last week, again still looking just a little right around the edges.

This third run in quick succession should see him make even more improvement and it looks a good bit of placing by his trainer to target a maiden that doesn't seem all that deep.

Fleet Commander lost out narrowly in handicap company here a fortnight ago and will likely be the main danger, though his form is beginning to look on the exposed side now and he may be better off back in handicaps in the future.

Recommended bets

Mark's UK&IRE P/L

Staked: 289
Returns: 345.58
P/L: +56.58


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