Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Baker perseverance can finally pay off

Jockey Colin Keane Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Jockey Colin Keane Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

He has made a dozen attempts - all of which failed - but George Baker can finally snare an Irish race at Dundalk with Guard Of Honour.

Having begun his career with Aidan O'Brien, the Galileo bay found a home in Manton, Wiltshire - via Rebecca Curtis' Welsh stables. He has tackled three Premier Handicaps in Ireland, achieving two seconds and a fourth, and the thinking is he should collect if showing that sort of form.

The worry is that he could suffer the handicapper's revision: despite finishing well-held in a conditions event at Newcastle last time, in theory he ran above his mark so he runs off 90 tonight. However, he looks the most likely winner in a fairly ordinary Vodatrade.ie - Digital Marketing And Website Design Services Handicap.

Colin Keane, who rode a treble at the last meeting, takes the steer. Perhaps he can also score on Toccata Blue in the Total Produce Ireland Claiming Race.

Trainer Ger Lyons reiterated his regard for claiming events to this newspaper on Monday. They offer something different, cut out all the rigmarole the sales entail and are often lively betting heats into the bargain.

Toccata Blue is no good thing and money for his former stablemate Burn The Boats, which steps back to a more suitable yardage for John Levins, would be interesting.

In a tricky opening Hibernia Steel Handicap, Sweetie Jar is eye-catching at nice odds, while Time Constrains must go close in the Servisource Recruitment Maiden under Conor Hoban.

Conor McGovern's 5lb claim could be critical in the Dundalk Racing Club Handicap, as Chestnut Fire seems to have little or nothing in hand now, but he is extremely consistent.

Neither division of the Ashbrook Foods Apprentice Handicap is easy for punters. More Kudos has plenty going for him in the second, while Banbridge-based You Gotta Move is a poke at a price in the first.

John Feane is one of the top trainers at Dundalk and Less Of That looks certain to appreciate the new distance in the closing Bar One Racing Handicap, though her draw is pretty offputting.

Dundalk now promotes local businesses in its race titles after coming up with a new initiative.

Irish Independent

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