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01 Jul 2022

Summer clues aplenty as big stables unleash top prospects in Dundalk

RACING: The horses worth a bet on Saturday's card at Navan

Some top prospects got an early season work out on the All Weather surface at Dundalk Stadium

It might seem odd to say that Changingoftheguard was the star turn on a night when Movie King won at Dundalk, but in many ways he was.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained three-year-old holds Epsom and Irish Derby entries and, judging by the way he simply ran away with the BetVictor Proud To Support Irish Racing Maiden as the 4/9 favourite under Wayne Lordan – the winning distance was six lengths – his future looks promising.

Stable representative Chris Armstrong said afterwards: “He could end up in one of the staying races at Royal Ascot”, adding “He’s progressed nicely over the winter.” He could turn out to be yet another talented Dundalk maiden winner.

The good form of Jessica Harrington’s stable continued when It’s Showtime Baby (5/2) landed the opening race on Friday’s card, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.

The daughter of Showcasing, who cost 52,000 guineas as a yearling and races in the colours of Alpha Racing 2022, certainly knew her job first-time up, winning quite snugly under Shane Foley and, in doing so, made it a fifth winner in the last nine days for her trainer.

Rocky Dreams (6/4 fav) and Inflection Point (7/4) dominated the betting for the second race, the BetVictor Loyalty Club Apprentice Claimer, with the Denis Hogan-trained market-leader edging out his market rival by a head in a thrilling finish.

Rocky Dreams has now won on his last two visits to the Stadium, on each occasion for promising apprentice Daniel King.

In fairness, the five-year-old gelding, who was gaining a first career win in what was his fifteenth race, always looked likely to hold the runner-up, Ballymist, who was showing much-improved form, his best runs until tonight for Caroline McCaldin having come in point-to-point and bumper races.

Mind you, he is closely related to Ted Walsh’s Grade 1 novice chase winner, Southern Vic, so the fact that he has ability hardly came as a surprise.

County Meath trainer Tony Martin made it two winners from the last four Dundalk meetings when Movie King (9/2) scored by half-a-length under Robbie Colgan in the View Restaurant At Dundalk Stadium Handicap.

Movie King races in the well-known colours of New York-based John Breslin, whose big-race winners include dual-Galway Festival scorer, Quick Jack, who also finished second in the 2015 Chester Cup and third in the 2015 County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Quick Jack was also trained by Tony and they have enjoyed great days together.

Rosscarbery was backed as if defeat was out of the question in the mile maiden – and so it proved, with the daughter of Sea The Stars running out an easy winner in the hands of Billy Lee having been backed from on course into an SP of 11/10 favourite.

Having originally sold for 130,000 guineas, Rosscarbery was having her first run tonight for Paddy Twomey, who said, “"She is a nice filly who had shown very good form last year for John Murphy. We've had her since last year and she is just running to the level she ran to before. I'm very happy with her."

The winner, who is owned by Robert JW Moran, is a daughter of a Listed-Race winner and her grand-dam won the 2008 Group 1 German Oaks. She’s an interesting proposition going forward.

We went from a well-backed winning favourite to the proverbial ‘skinner’ in the next race when The Mpex Kid put a sequence of six unplaced runs behind him when battling well under Gavin Ryan to land the card’s mile handicap at an SP of 50/1.

Given that he had been narrowly beaten at Dundalk in a mile handicap in December 2020 from a seven-pound higher rating than he raced from tonight, a case could have been made for the enigmatic, but fairly lightly-raced, six year-old.

Ciaran Murphy trains the winner for former trainer Dot Love, and he said afterwards: “A great friend of mine, Timmy Moore, looked after him over the winter and did a great job”, adding about the winning rider, “Gavin is a class act”.

The card’s final race saw the Eddie Lynam-trained Persian Wolf (9/2) arrive late on the scene to collar Alhaajeb, who had travelled smoothly during the contest, eventually winning by a neck in the hands of Ben Coen.

The fitting of first-time cheek-pieces no doubt helped the lightly-raced four-year-old to record a first career win at what was the tenth attempt.

The winner is a full-brother to four-time Dundalk winner Sister Lola (two of those successes coming for Eddie). For good measure, Eddie also trained their dam, Riobamba, who was also successful at the Stadium.

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