Saturday 24 March 2018

Step down in class can help Burn The Boats sail home

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Johnny Ward

Claiming races have been popular at Dundalk in the winter series and some of them have been pretty decent contests.

Tonight, Burn The Boats reverts to that class and he has the pace for the return to six furlongs. He won a Premier Handicap over the distance at the Curragh in 2013 and, while he is not operating at that level now, he retains a bit of quality.

Four previous winners contest the €25,000 Race, with Robert Cowell having a rare runner at the track. However, there is a clear concern that Visionary will make it hard for himself to stretch out to seven furlongs.

Joseph O'Brien's first runner for Malih Lahej Al Basti, Remember The Days, did the job first-time out and he may be progressive enough to edge Tuff, one of two Ger Lyons participants.

The opening sprint handicap is a classy dash. Togoville, an admirable grey which has been competitive in stronger company in the past, is a tentative choice.

O'Brien runs a staggering five in the Crowne Plaza Race & Stay Handicap. Circus Ring, under his brother Donnacha, may be the pick of the quintet.

Wingingit could be quite a dark one here. She shaped with promise in maidens and is on a low enough mark now she goes handicapping for Noel Meade.

One horse which could be ripe for a gamble tonight is Atlas in the seven-furlong handicap. This horse has switched to Denis Hogan from Michael O'Callaghan, whose stable jockey Shane Kelly rates a notable riding booking.

Atlas made a really promising start to his career when seventh in a high-class Curragh maiden under a year ago. He has not gone on from that but took the eye last time and is now rated 65.


Khabaray reverts to maiden class this evening but he has a fair bit to find on ratings with The Invisible Dog, which should be grand now back at the mile. Oisin Orr can steer a passage from a high draw.

The 9lb rise given to Ligeti was a bit frustrating for his trainer and is now up 17lb for his recent pair of wins. Connor King is back aboard, though the draw is not kind in the penultimate contest.

O'Brien may take the nightcap with Tommy Welsh, which steps up to two miles. Sarah O'Brien, who had a spell out of the saddle, is seeking her first winner since last June on a busy night for her elder brother.

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