Monday 17 December 2018

Mandarin Monarch to bear fruit in Dundalk return

Andrew McNamara. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Andrew McNamara. Picture credit; Damien Eagers

Thomas Kelly

Mandarin Monarch can gain compensation for what appeared to be an unlucky run at Dundalk last time as racing returns to the Polytrack after a short break.

The Andrew McNamara-trained gelding won over this course and distance on his penultimate start, and was denied a clear run when beaten by only a length over a shorter trip just before Christmas.

Johann Bach has run well on a number of occasions here in recent months, while others to consider in the mile-and-a-half feature include Here For The Craic and last month's maiden winner Wooster.

The Phantom Punch was part of a notable one-two-three for County Tyrone trainer Andy Oliver in a maiden here in November and with the runner-up Financial Conduct having gone one better since, the son of Canford Cliffs may now get his turn in the Follow At DundalkStadium On Twitter Maiden.

The Tracey Collins-trained Nivvo and Zaofu, also a runner-up here recently for Joseph O'Brien, appear the chief threats.

David Marnane has enjoyed some success here in recent months, especially with the progressive Settle For Bay, and the Bansha handler may have the answer to the Dundalk Stadium Business Club 2018 Maiden with Havana Go.

Billy Lee's mount should have more scope for improvement than the frustrating Port Lions, while Ship Of Dreams will also have her supporters.

The Handicap has been divided to form an eight-race card, and Pass The Ball has strong claims despite shouldering top weight in division one.

The Westerner gelding was very lightly raced until winning three times between the flags last year, and supplemented those victories by also scoring under rules both over hurdles and fences at Tipperary last summer.

A switch to the Polytrack has seen the nine-year-old go close twice, including when heavily backed last time over a mile and a half.

Killala trainer Fergal Birrane may continue his good run with California Lad in division two.

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