Midst can clear maiden tag at Dundalk
Dermot Weld has been busier over jumps than on the Flat of late but tonight he can secure a first win at Dundalk since September with the useful-looking Midst.
The Khalid Abdullah-owned sister to the stable's Group Three winner Flying Jib contests the seven-furlong fillies' maiden, having had just one start at Fairyhouse in the autumn.
On that occasion, she wasn't given a hard time but still ran encouragingly to be sixth over six furlongs. Flying Jib was at her best over seven furlongs and a mile, so the step up in trip here should be ideal for Midst, which has a decent draw in stall three.
If she has matured in the interim, she ought to take a bit of stopping for Pat Smullen and appeals as nap material to collect.
A number of Midst's rivals have shown ability, but maybe don't possess quite as much potential. John Murphy's duo Touch Of Gold and Sweetie Jar have ability, as has Mick Halford's Spirit Glance, so they could give her something to think about.
Smullen might also take the opening five-furlong handicap on Ger O'Leary's Primo Uomo. Drawn on the inside rail, Primo Uomo is lightly raced. Dropped a stone for his recent reappearance, he kept on to be second to Chiclet, so he can build on that now off a three-pound higher mark.
In the €24,000 At The Races Handicap over a mile, Halford will saddle both Rummaging and Hat Alnasar. Aidan O'Brien's Bishan Bedi will vie for its hat-trick under top-weight, but it is Hat Alnasar that is fancied to deliver under Conor Hoban.
A brilliantly consistent colt, Hat Alnasar has been out of the first three just three times in 11 starts at the Co Louth all-weather facility. He won nicely here off a career-high rating of 77 last time, and is three pounds higher now. He should go very close again.
In the preceding apprentice jockeys' maiden, Willie McCreery's Jimmy Kelly is expected to break its duck at the third time of asking. Robbie Downey's mount has been third in his two previous forays here.
On his first run over a mile, Jimmy Kelly kept on purposefully to be beaten less than a length in third by Eagle Valley. Stepped up to 10 furlongs earlier this month, it was a different story, as he tired late on to be beaten over two lengths behind Rock On Rosie.
It certainly looked as though Jimmy Kelly didn't fully stay, so the drop back to a mile now should suit ideally.