Horse Racing Tips

Dundalk Friday Tips: Unlucky loser Ceallach to go one better


"Mick Halford's son of Lope De Vega is bred to be better than an 80-rated performer and he looked promising when getting off the mark over a shorter trip here in July"

Mark Milligan is back from a break and has a couple of bets for us under the lights at Dundalk on Friday evening....

  • Halford runner bred to be better than current rating
  • Las Cuatro now has valuable experience
  • Mark Milligan has two tips for Dundalk on Friday

As many regular readers know, American racing is one of my big passions and what a privilege it was to see Flightline win the Breeders' Cup Classic in the manner that he did while I was on a family holiday out in the US last week.

Although I didn't make it to Keeneland in person, I was at Aqueduct racetrack to watch the main event and the atmosphere there was simply electric as Flightline left a top-class rival in Life Is Good trailing in his wake.

It's a massive shame that we won't get to see John Sadler's unbeaten son of Tapit race on next season, but it's also a fully understandable decision as he's simply become too valuable a commodity for connections to risk on dirt tracks that are much less kind to horses' legs and joints than European turf tracks.

He'll retire as one of the best we've ever seen on either dirt or turf - second only to the imperious Secretariat when it comes to racing on the traditional American surface, and not far off the mighty Frankel when comparing him to the best we've seen on turf.

Halford's unlucky loser to make amends

It's a pretty safe bet that we'll see nothing remotely close to Flightline at Dundalk on Friday but there's still some interesting racing and a couple that look worth backing.

The feature 1m 4f handicap at 18:45 features several in-form horses and has a competitive look to it, though I think they'll all have to go some to stop Ceallach, who looked an unlucky loser at this track a fortnight ago.

Mick Halford's son of Lope De Vega is bred to be better than an 80-rated performer and he looked promising when getting off the mark over a shorter trip here in July.

We then didn't see him until he resurfaced in that aforementioned handicap, where he sat in midfield before finding his passage blocked around two furlongs from home. He only got room to work with well inside the final furlong but fairly flew home to be beaten only a neck by Golden Twilight.

There's no doubt in my mind that he'd have taken that contest if he'd got a run a little earlier and it's a big bonus that he gets to race off a mark only 2lb higher here.

Despite this being an open-looking affair, I'll be disappointed of Ceallach doesn't put up another bold showing.

Las Cuatro to benefit from initial experience

We were on Las Cuatro when she made her debut at this track a couple of weeks ago, the thinking being she'd be fully tuned up with Colin Keane attempting to wrestle the jockeys' championship initiative from Billy Lee at the time.

However, although she wasn't lacking for fitness, she simply wasn't clued up enough to fully do herself justice, proving very green.

There was plenty of promise in that effort, though, as the daughter of Kitten's Joy stuck on well for third and should take plenty of stopping in the maiden that opens the card at 16:45.

She's now got valuable experience under her belt and clearly handled the track well enough, which should come as no surprise given her American pedigree.

The price is unlikely to be too enticing but Las Cuatro should get our evening off to a good start.

Recommended bets

Mark's UK/IRE P&L

Staked: 294 Returns: 356.71 P/L: +62.71

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