After an epic Saturday’s racing the U.K. once again shows us how not to schedule a Sunday card, despite the brave efforts of Carlisle. Instead it’s back across the water to Fairyhouse for any real semblance of quality.
The graded races all have strong favourites which are hard to oppose.
The handicap hurdle (1405) though offers some depth of field, with the leading Irish owners and trainers well represented.
Trainer Gordon Elliott has been feasting on such races this season. He is usually mob-handed but relies on just two entries here.
His Vienard has some each way appeal at a big price, he will surely go close again in one of these soon, although his last run suggested he may still need a few runs to hit his peak.
The low Elliott turnout may well be a function of saddling the likely favourite here in potential improver Ben Dundee, Elliott presumably confident enough not to saddle too many in the race.
His first season hurdling was a steady if unspectacular campaign for rookie trainer Andrew Lynch, culminating in a useful fifth off a mark of 120 at the Punchestown Festival.
A close season transfer to Elliott saw a massively improved effort on seasonal debut when trouncing a 22 runner field back at Punchestown.
The handicapper has dumped an extra 10lbs on his back for that, but he could have easily defied those extra pounds that day, and we can expect Elliott to have kept some improvement back.
This is a competitive affair, but that helps us keep Ben Dundee at a backable price. He still looks to have plenty in hand and is ready to win again whilst many of these are busy feathering their handicap marks in advance of later season targets.
Recommendation: Ben Dundee, (1405 Fairyhouse), 1pt win, 4/1 Paddy Power
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