Bolger can lead 'Bridle' up winning path on the sand
Jim Bolger's horses have been running well without being prolific at Dundalk this winter, and he is trusted with tonight's nap in the shape of Bridle Path.
The Coolcullen wizard has saddled 10 runners since the beginning of December, the only winner being Ringside Humour at the end of last month.
However, seven others have been placed, so his horses are certainly performing adequately.
A case could be made for each of his three runners this evening.
Locus Standi has a live chance in the concluding handicap and Mandatario has a chance in the two-mile conditions race, but Bridle Path appeals as being the pick of the trio.
The Teofilo filly contests the mile maiden, and she hasn't been drawn too favourably in stall 11 of 14. That apart, she ticks all the boxes in a race that lacks any real depth. Sixth of 17 on her track bow at Cork on slow ground in October, Bridle Path improved on that to be second here to Walk Of Shame over this trip later in the month.
She was then stepped up to 12 furlongs for her latest outing in November, when she travelled smoothly into the race in the straight, only to fade into fifth.
Bridle Path seemed to simply not stay, but the manner in which she got into contention confirmed the impression that she has sufficient ability to win a race like this.
Back down in trip, then, she ought to take a bit of stopping under Kevin Manning.
The heat that stablemate Mandatario contests is one of two €25,000 events on the card, which have attracted a total of just nine runners between them.
Notwithstanding that he has plenty to find on ratings, a slight chance is taken on Jessica Harrington's Lake Champlain in the two-mile version, as he seems to be an improving four-year-old.
In the seven-furlong contest, Mark Johnston's Turbine is probably the one to beat.
More Than Mummy and Roman Impero have both won maidens here, as did Turbine at Wolverhampton in November.
On his only other start, the Cape Cross colt then ran a fine race to be fourth behind some highly-rated horses at Lingfield. If Turbine builds on that now, the English invader should ensure that Johnston and Joe Fanning's cross-channel foray pay off.
In the opening five-furlong handicap, the Adrian Joyce-trained Times In Anatefka is fancied to collect under Robbie Downey, having just been run out of it over a furlong further last time.