Dundalk provides the action in Ireland this evening and Ebadan can get off the mark at the fourth time of asking by taking the Big Bad Bob Maiden for trainer Michael Halford.
The colt stepped up from his Limerick debut when finishing third, beaten just two lengths behind Agent Of Chaos at this track in mid-November, and was just touched off in a similar contest back here a fortnight later.
For those efforts he earned a mark of 86, which would be good enough to win most maidens at this track.
If he can run to that rating today, he’ll take a world of beating.
The danger may come from A Shin Impala, who ran well when just beaten on debut.
Any improvement on that form would put him in the shake-up.
It’s also worth noting whether or not the first reserve, Birthplace, gets into the race. He made an eye-catching debut behind Cook Islands, has the potential to be a useful sort, and would be a major player if getting in.
Strategic Force should prove too smart for his rivals in the Injuredjockeys.com Claiming Race. Ger O’Leary’s gelding has had just four runs since arriving from Britain and is yet to make a mark. However, he has been running in decent company, and this evening’s race represents a significant drop in class for the five-year-old.
The highest rated in this race, by a comfortable margin, he has the assistance of champion jockey Pat Smullen, and can stamp his authority on the race. Zylan may give him most to think about, but that rival was half a length behind him last time, and is 7lbs worse off.
The most interesting race of the night is the Dundalk Stadium on Facebook Handicap over two miles, and Taglietelle may be progressive enough to shoulder top weight to victory for Gordon Elliott.
The seven-year-old has developed into a high-class hurdler over the past year or so and ran out a comfortable winner on his most recent Flat outing, at this track, in November.
He has been raised 5lbs for that victory, which doesn’t seem too harsh, and another big run looks assured.
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