Santa Monica set for winning return

The Charles O’Brien-trained Santa Monica must be strongly fancied to make a successful seasonal debut in the Crowne Plaza Race & Stay Median Auction Fillies Maiden in Dundalk tonight.

Santa Monica set for winning return

A daughter of Mastercraftsman, she has been off the track since disappointing at Gowran Park in October. But her earlier form, in competitive maidens, and a rating of 88 entitle her to the vote in this five-runner affair over an extended mile and a quarter.

Santa Monica’s juvenile form included a fourth to Bridget’s Folly in Tipperary and a similar placing behind Miss Gossip in a Leopardstown maiden.

But her stand-out piece of form was an excellent fourth behind Tanaza, Alice Springs and Turret Rocks in the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown in July.

Clearly, a reproduction of anything approaching that effort would see her open her Account tonight.

The Andy Oliver-trained Collision Course stepped-up significantly on his maiden form when finishing three and a half lengths fifth behind Awtaad at the Curragh last month.

That effort earned him a rating of 96 and, while it remains to be seen whether he can live up to such a billing, the grey should be capable of overcoming Mittersill and Palmetto Dunes in the Dundalk Stadium Maiden.

Meanwhile, in Kilbeggan, The West’s Awake, runner-up to Derulo on his seasonal and hurdling debut at Down Royal recently, should be tough to beat for Edward O’Grady and Mark Walsh in the Tullamore Maiden Hurdle.

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