Sunday's Irish racing comes from Tramore, and Alan Dudman has three horses to follow for the afternoon...
"He's a real old fashioned staying type with a huge physique, so he done remarkably well to win a course and distance beginners' contest in May."
Staying type can excel with extra distance in opener
It's a fairly low-key Sunday card for Tramore with the seven-race fixture made up of a pair of maiden hurdles, a beginners' chase for mares and a bumper (again, for mares). We've also got rain forecast for the day, so keep on eye on that, as at the time of writing on Saturday evening, the ground was described as soft.
The opener at 14:10 has a couple of horses with experience rated 104 - which is a wholly beatable standard with Empire Burleque and Dunbar in mind.
It's great to see the old Roselier line on Ballymacaw's pedigree, and he'll be making his hurdling debut after an all-the-way bumper success at Kilbeggan. He's a huge horse that really didn't strike as a natural Tramore type, but he displayed a good attitude winning that Flat race as he was headed and shaken up. The step up to 2m5f is a massive plus as there is plenty of stamina in his pedigree, and whilst the the emphasis is usually on speed and agility around here, the soft ground might find one or two out.
I doubt if Ballymacaw will lack for staying power.
Betfair ambassador Joseph O'Brien has an interesting hurdling recruit in Shadow Seven, as he was a fair traveller over 1m4f and improved at Dundalk. He'd have a lot more natural pace than Ballymacaw, but I'm going to have a small stakes win bet on John Halley's runner, and he would be worth using the strategy of a lay-to-back to garner a green book.
Halley to fire in win number two?
If trainer John Halley holds a good chance in the opener, his claims for taking the second race at 14:40 are much stronger with Blackhillsofdakota - but he's not exactly a sexy price at 5/4.
However, there is no other way to dress it up, this is a poor race and won't take a lot of winning.
Blackhillsofdakota never made the track for Aidan O'Brien on the Flat, but he certainly has ability judged on his bumper efforts. He won a decent race at Limerick before a heavy defeat in Aintree's Grade 2 race last spring. That was in soft conditions, and he was beaten out of sight. His first two runs were on good, so there is a slight worry with the rain and the possibility of muddier conditions.
The rivals to take seriously, though, are virtually non-existent. Gordon Elliott's Mooltazem was a good horse on the Flat in his time with a rating in 90s for Michael Dods - but he refused to race twice and he certainly looks a runner to avoid at the moment - especially at a price of 6/4.
It's one to sit out for me.
O'Keeffe to give a positive show on board Annie
I have plenty of time for Declan Queally's Tell Me Annie (pictured below), and I'll be throwing a couple of quid her way at 10/3 for the mares' beginners' chase at 15:40.
As a 10-year-old, she is the oldest in the field by some way, and in truth, her chasing career has never really got going. That's frustrating, as she's a good hurdler with a rating in the 120s.
Last time she ran a feisty race against the classy Pravalaguna at a big price, and she might have needed that effort following a break of 85 days. That was over 3m in yielding ground, and with her front-running style, I anticipate that sort of ride again with Sunday's distance at nearly 2m6f.
She doesn't mind testing conditions, whilst the easier fences around here for the switch from hurdles will help, as she hasn't totally convinced with her jumping technique at various stages.
Another plus point is the booking of rising star Darragh O'Keeffe and his 5lb claim. He really dazzled at Galway with a couple of rides, and hopefully he can get a decent tune out of the mare.
Feature could go to De Bromhead and Blackmore?
The most competitive race on the card by some way at 16:10 is a decent handicap with plenty of different strands coming together. It's also an EXTRA PLACE SPECIAL contest on the Sportsbook.
I've mentioned the promising Darragh O'Keeffe, and he has a good chance of scoring with Demi Plie looking at the price of 3/1, and he stayed on well to win on the inside at Downpatrick. He has plenty of good ground form which is a slight worry for me if it rides deep on Sunday.
Elsewhere, Joseph O'Brien's Wishmoor is one of the best handicapped horses in the field from 118, and that's some way down from his peak in the 130s. If he could find something like the form that he showed when finishing second in the Grand National Trial at Punchestown during the winter, he would be a massive player. You can click here to read what the trainer has to say about his chances, but he hasn't shown an awful lot since that February run.
He can make the running and acts in deep ground, though.
And a word on the tremendously likeable Pat Carey chaser Seskin Flyer. He's at the upper limit of his mark, but he's honest and genuine and gallops all day. He might not win, but he's a great advert for the trainer.
The unexposed Megalomaniac is the one that I will go with at 15/2 on the Sportsbook, and he rates as an each-way bet.
This will be his first run in a handicap over fences from 119 and there is certainly more to come given his looks. He's a real old fashioned staying type with a huge physique, so he done remarkably well to win a course and distance beginners' contest in May.
He didn't run too badly over hurdles at the Galway festival last time and wasn't beaten far, but his run style of being up with the pace was against him in that, as those that came from off the speed were at an advantage.
I expect Rachael Blackmore to make the running, and as a Henry De Bromhead jumper, he should have no problem with these fences again.
Back Ballymacaw @ 4.03/1 in the 14:10 at Tramore
Back Tell Me Annie @ 4.507/2 in the 15:40 at Tramore
Back Megalomaniac @ 15/2 Sportsbook price in the 16:10 at Tramore