Dundalk breaks the monotony of a week previously devoid of Irish horse racing, and Roman Impero can ensure it’s a profitable return to action for punters by taking the seven-furlong maiden for trainer Michael Halford.
A promising sixth on debut at Navan, he made his all-weather debut here last month and, despite being somewhat reluctant to enter the stalls, gave quite generously in the race.
Unfortunately for his supporters, he found the well-backed Alphonsus too good on that occasion, but this looks a much easier assignment for the Holy Roman Emperor colt.
Unless there is something reasonably smart amongst the newcomers, it’s quite likely he won’t have to improve too much to make it third time lucky. With progress likely, however, he should prove very hard to beat.
The most interesting of the debutants is the Dermot Weld-trained Party Angel, although the market would have to speak in her favour.
Absorbing can take the closing race for Aidan and Ana O’Brien.
A decidedly modest sort by the stable’s standards, she ran a fine race in defeat over course and distance in November, but appeared not to truly see out the trip when upped to a mile and a half last time out.
Back to ten and a half furlongs and in modest company, the four-year-old Duke Of Marmalade filly can earn a long overdue breakthrough victory. Gold Not Silver, who was on the mark last time, can give her most to think about.
Five-furlong handicaps at this track are notoriously tight and the one which opens today’s card looks no different, but it could be worth taking a chance on Geological.
The former Richard Hannon-trained gelding made his debut for Damian English last month and, despite racing freely for the first couple of furlongs, gave generously for pressure until short of room a furlong from home.
That was a very good effort and, as it was his first run since July, it should have taken the freshness off him.
Although both wins to date came over six furlongs, he has posted some smart efforts over five furlongs, and a big run is on the cards. Chiclet may give him most to think about.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved