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Dickie's Lad to kick-start Smullen's treble chance

PAT SMULLEN could be the man to follow at what promises to be a competitive night's racing at Dundalk.

The Offaly native (below) has a full book of eight rides, two of which are for Kevin Ryan. In the opening six-furlong handicap, he steers Dickie's Lad for the Yorkshire-based handler, and this one has bundles of appeal.

On its first all-weather outing at Lingfield recently, Dickie's Lad was denied by only a head after attempting to make all over this trip.

It was a game effort that the improving three-year-old should be able to build on, and Smullen's renowned acumen from the front is sure to be a significant advantage.

Recent dual course winner Gordon Lord Byron looked to be in the handicapper's grip when third here two weeks ago, but Jamesie is interesting on his first start since September.

Twice a winner in the summer, David Marnane's charge is progressive, having subsequently held its own in decent handicaps at Galway and Leopardstown.

Two of Smullen's other rides that appeal are Zero Euro and Word For Word in either division of the 12-furlong handicap.

Zero Euro is the in-form Harry Rogers' representative in the first divide, an open heat with 14 runners.

Cailin Coillteach showed up well when fifth here last week, but Zero Euro might just have her measure.

Third in reasonable company behind Knockraffon Lad over a mile on the same card, the Chineur filly is expected to improve for the step up in trip.

Eddie Lynam, another man whose team has been in excellent shape, is responsible for Word For Word, which is well in at the weights with Knockraffon Lad, having chased Michael Byrne's horse home a fortnight ago.

The nap selection goes the way of Circumstances in the juvenile maiden over a mile. Others bring placed form to the table, but David Wachman's filly kept on well when fifth in a good race at Leopardstown in October.

This should be well within her range.

Irish Independent