An action shot from racing at the track in Dundalk. (Pic: Sportsfile)
A couple of gambles were landed at Dundalk on January 21st and another of the night’s winners earned himself a trip to the Middle East for a tilt at a big payday.
Gamble number one was the Shane Crawley-trained Kalmira in the second division of the 12-furlong handicap. She was backed into 3/1 favourite on what was her first run outside of maiden company and she rewarded that confidence by running out a length-and-a-half winner in the hands of Niall McCullagh.
Kalmira is owned by the Eyeroller Syndicate, who also own Tartlette, who has won four times at Dundalk and, on her latest start, finished third in a Listed race at Kempton in England. She, too, is trained by Shane.
Gamble number two caused quite a stir as Run The Jewels was backed from 20/1 when the overnight market was formed into an SP of 9/2 before running out a comfortable winner of the first division of the mile handicap in the hands of Nathan Crosse.
Owned by Thomas James, who used to train him, it was the gelding’s first run for County Kilkenny-based handler John Cahill and his first at Dundalk.
Jockey Nathan Crosse said afterwards: “He’s a big, raw horse (who) probably would like a mile and two furlongs”.
A half-brother to two winners and closely related to a French Listed winner, he cost connections just €6,000 as a yearling and their patience has been rewarded.
Nathan’s brother Shane also got among the winners when Royal Scholar (10/3) won the second division of the mile handicap for trainer Sarah Lynam, who had an impressive strike-rate at Dundalk last year.
Given that this was her first Dundalk runner of 2022, she could well prove worth following in the next few weeks.
Trainer Luke Comer is enjoying a good run of form and Angel In The Sky (22/1), ridden by Sean Davis, gave him an eighth Dundalk winner since October 29th when landing the first division of the 12-furlong handicap.
Jim Gorman, who is a big part of Luke’s County Meath set-up, was on hand to greet the winner, who is also owned and was bred by Luke.
The star turn on the card was Thunder Moon, who won the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh in 2020 and was narrowly beaten in last year’s Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Deauville. He was sent off as the 4/5 favourite for the Story Of Dundalk Stadium Book Available Online Race but had to settle for second behind Pretreville (12/1), who was ridden by Ronan Whelan.
Ronan rode a double on Wednesday’s card at Dundalk (January 19th), both of them trained, like tonight’s winner, by Ado McGuinness.
Bought from France, Pretreville is another example of Ado’s team casting its net far and wide in the search for quality winners. It is proving to be a winning formula as Listed, Group 3 and, last year, Group 1, victories have come their way in recent years to widespread acclaim.
Owned by Shamrock Thoroughbreds – what a run of success they have enjoyed in recent years – and Gerard Augustin-Normand, the winner has earned himself a tilt at an upcoming Listed race in Doha, one that Ado won last year with Bowerman.
Thunder Moon’s trainer Joseph O’Brien didn’t leave Dundalk empty-handed as Sangria (9/2) came from last to first to land the Book Online At DundalkStadium.com Handicap in the hands of Jake Coen, who is still at school but rides out for Joseph at weekends.
The biggest-priced winner of the night was Singsong Lady, who was returned at odds of 25/1 after running out an emphatic winner of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies’ Maiden in the hands of Conor Maxwell.
A tall, well-made filly, she is trained by Gavin Cromwell, and this could well prove to be an informative maiden, with Johnny Murtagh responsible for the third (the Aga Khan-owned Kadinnka), Joseph O’Brien sending out the fourth, Sistine Madonna, and the promising Ray Cody-trained Silk Damask in second.
Another trainer who enjoyed a fruitful 2021 is James McAuley and, not resting on his laurels, he sent out his second Dundalk winner this year (to go with 14 last year) when Ajax Tavern (10/1) landed the card’s finale in the hands of Sam Ewing.
Sam won a handicap chase at Fairyhouse on January 15th, which gives an indication of both his versatility and talent in the saddle. This year could be a big one for him.
The next meeting at Dundalk is set for Friday January 28th, with the first race due off at 4:30pm. This will become 4pm if a race divides, which is entirely likely. We look forward to seeing you there.
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