Roman Impero looks ready to rule for Halford at Dundalk
Mick Halford's select Dubai team has embarked on its annual winter foray to the sun but the superb Kildare-based handler is trusted to deliver tonight's nap vote with Roman Impero at Dundalk's less salubrious setting.
Conor Hoban's mount tackles the seven-furlong maiden, three weeks after producing an improved effort to be second to the useful-looking Alphonsus at the Co Louth facility.
If Roman Impero runs to a similar level or better now, he should take plenty stopping, as there isn't much depth among his 13 rivals. Of the others that have run, Shane Donohoe's Chewy Round Town might be the main danger.
A son of Roderic O'Connor, this fellow lost little in defeat when fifth in a fair contest at Wolverhampton on his debut. He ought to come forward for that, so he couldn't be discounted.
Halford's In The Dark and Skerray Rules both have chances in what is a competitive mile handicap.
Preferred in that, though, is Peter Casey's Rose Angel. The joint top-weight has fallen 10lbs in the ratings over the past year, and the booking of up-and-coming seven-pound claimer Denis Linehan is another big plus for a mare that is will break from a plum inside berth.
In the opening sprint, Strategic Heights is another that looks handicapped to win with the help of a decent apprentice in Tom Madden. James Feane's stalwart ran its best race for some time when third to Little Sweetheart here last month off a mark of 67.
Having won off 76 in December 2014, Strategic Heights should be able to win off his current rating now that he has found some form.
Eddie Lynam could collect with his only runner on the card when Robbie Downey takes three pounds off Break My Mind in the 12-furlong handicap, while Willie McCreery is also expected to score with his sole representative.
McCreery will saddle Jimmy Kelly in the extended 10-furlong maiden.
The Billy Lee-ridden four-year-old made a belated track bow here last month, keeping on well late to be beaten three-parts of a length by Eagle Valley over a mile. This step up in trip should suit ideally.