Takapour worth waiting for
Dundalk will tonight trial a 25-minute gap between races, an idea that was recommended by a recent HRI-commissioned report into how to make the race-day experience a more attractive one for punters.
Only time will tell if such minor tinkering has any impact in terms of attendance, though the practicality of implementing the measure effectively is likely to prove challenging.
Four of the eight races have been allocated the shorter time frame, the last being a 10-furlong conditions race that features Takapour, our nap selection.
On official figures, Mick Halford's three-year-old has a bit to find with a few of his eight rivals, not least Rock Critic. Dermot Weld's dual Galway winner didn't run at all badly to be sixth in the Cambridgeshire on its latest start off a rating of 106.
A reproduction of that form might be enough now, but Halford's 93-rated Takapour is in receipt of eight pounds.
While that means that he would still need to improve, his second successive triumph at the Louth venue last month, when he had 104 and 100-rated rivals in second and third, suggested that there may be more to come from him.
In the preceding handicap, Joseph O'Brien and Charlie Swan are fancied to follow up their success with Tribes And Banner in a similar event at the track a fortnight ago.
While that was over two furlongs further than this heat, Tribes And Banner travelled well before scoring, and a six-pound penalty or Charles O'Brien's progressive Gap Of Dunloe may not hinder his progress.
Young O'Brien could also be on the right one in a couple of the juvenile maidens. In the first division of the colts' contest he partners Fatcatinthehat for Willie Mullins. Of the others in this race that have already run, Ger Lyons' Rogue Element may be the main danger after finishing second here over this seven-furlong trip last week.
Nonetheless, Fatcatinthehat has also shown plenty and he might well have gone closer than his four-length third to Athens at Listowel had the ground been less heavy.
In the fillies' race, the apprentice champion elect partners Wave for his father and she should be able to build on a fair fifth -- before being disqualified -- on her debut at The Curragh last month.