Sunday 18 March 2018

Clondaw Warrior to battle all the way

Dermot Weld: saddles Palmetto Dunes
Dermot Weld: saddles Palmetto Dunes
Davy Condon

Davy Condon

It's hard to believe we're in the home straight of the festival already. There have been some great performances from trainers, jockeys and horses alike and we're not finished yet.

And there's plenty of great racing on the card today.

The big one of the day is the Guinness Handicap and there could be a bit of each-way value available here with He's Our Man which has been there or thereabouts in his last two runs, winning one, and I think he could be worth a shot.

However, the one that jumps off the page for me is Clondaw Warrior.

You'll remember he won the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot last month and at that stage Ruby Walsh was in the stands with his wife Gillian who is part of the syndicate that owns the improving eight-year-old.

This time around they go in search of the €60,000 prize that the winner of this race will take home.

There's a drop in trip to contend with but if you look back at his record you'll see he won over this distance here at Ballybrit so he seems to have everything going for him that you'd look for in a winner of this race.

The day's racing starts with a handicap hurdle at 5.10 and I'm going to pick one of Gordon Elliott's in Tempo Mac.

He won his last two and seems to be improving but he could have stiff competition from Riviera Sun and Rupert Lamb which can pick up one of the minor places.

My nap of the day comes in the two-year-old maiden at 5.45 and at first glance I was thinking about picking Verbosity which showed improvement from her first run to her second but it might be too much to ask her to win from the draw she has here.

So I'm going with Palmetto Dunes to build on the encouraging start he made in his Leopardstown maiden.

He was third that day behind Sanus Per Aquam whose most recent run was a second place in a Group Three race. That form leads me to believe Dunes can oblige here.

In the Steeplechase at 6.15 my advice would be to always look further down the card as it's one of these that is most likely to win it.

Aidan O'Brien has an interesting entry in King Leon and his horses have been performing well this week and could get him a winner here.


After the feature of the day comes another Maiden and I think this could be one for Ger Lyons and Van Schaick.

He has finished second on his last two outings and can go one better on this occasion.

The penultimate race of the day can go to Pat Smullen and Dea Dia, while the action can be wrapped up with another Weld winner in Good Tradition.

Weld won this race 12 months ago with Forgotten Rules so it will be interesting to see what Good Tradition can do here but he certainly looked the part on his last run in Killarney.

Condon's Call

5.10 - Tempo Mac

5.45 - Palmetto Dunes (Nap)

6.15 - King Leon

6.50 - Clondaw Warrior

7.25 - Van Schaick

8.00 - Dea Dia

8.30 - Good Tradition

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