Monday 18 December 2017

Dodgybingo to get Meade's number up

Trainer Noel Meade Photo: Sportsfile
Trainer Noel Meade Photo: Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

Noel Meade has enjoyed three victories with Dodgybingo and the Roderic O'Connor gelding can realise another in Dundalk's closing Bet Now With The Ladbrokes App Handicap this evening.

It is a busy day for the Co Louth town, with horse-racing preceding greyhound combat and later Dundalk FC's clash with Rosenborg. Punters who stick to the horses can enjoy a winner in the finale, as Dodgybingo is probably well-treated now.

After winning over a mile on the Flat, albeit as a two-year-old, it was hard to know if the horse would stay well enough over hurdles, but he has answered that question quite conclusively. Indeed, he made all the running over two miles and a furlong at Ballinrobe two runs ago, backing that up with a nice run in a handicap.

Perversely, there is still a chance that tonight's mile and a half may stretch him as he has no hurdle to keep his mind on the job and he can be free, but he looks to have an outstanding chance off a mark of 63 under the excellent Colin Keane.

The opening claimer can see a repeat win in this for the Ado McGuinness-trained Specific Gravity, not exactly a reliable sort but apt to make all the running and fend off a couple of somewhat flattering types in Burn The Boats and Seanie.

The mile maiden rates a rather trappy affair. Jim Bolger has his steeds in excellent form and Gloves On is feared but preference this afternoon is for another Godolphin runner in Bowden, trained by Michael Halford, who has a superb Dundalk record.

Over that course and distance, the handicap can go to Zippy. John Levins' runner was backed at fancy prices and won snugly at Tipperary, yet is actually rated 1lb lower now.

Another young Curragh trainer, John Feane, is having a bright campaign, yet a Hamilton gamble on Ahundrednotout failed quite recently. Take him to snare the seven-furlong handicap and go two better.

Today's feature is the Racing Post Handicap, a somewhat tricky event. Moviesta has top weight and was a bit laboured at the Curragh last time, but this represents an easier opportunity for Eddie Lynam's course winner.

Arguably the best-bred horse on the card is Diodorus, which looks a near-certainty in the penultimate heat. By Galileo, this colt is out of Divine Proportions, which was a super mare for Pascal Bary, winning no fewer than five Group Ones.

Drawn in one and facing what looks a modest bunch, there will be long faces in Ballydoyle and empty pockets in the ring if this one cannot now collect under Donnacha O'Brien.

Irish Independent

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