Dundalk host an eight race card this evening headed by the Listed Mercury Stakes at 8.00pm over 5 furlongs with 14 runners.
Headed by the Aidan O’Brien trained Starspangledbanner, the son of Choisir still needs to recapture some of his old form if he is to collect this prize before jetting off to America for the Breeders Cup. O’Brien has said that he will be sticking with sprinting with him and is definitely one for the shortlist. Former Group 1 winner, Kingsgate Native is another who is in with a shout however, Balmont Mast looks to be improving and won last time out over 6 furlongs at Dundalk and he is the one for us.
The opening race is a competitive Conditions Fillies race and the top weight Colour Of Love looks to be the one to follow having three wins this season including one at the course, albeit over 5 furlongs. She has won over 7 furlongs and should be well able to score over a mile also.
In the Apprentice Handicap, it is worth looking down the field to the Pat Martin trained The Reek, the mount of promising rider, Ross Coakley. He was second last time out over course and distance and is running off a mark of 51 and could be well handicapped over this trip.
Balmont Mast’s credentials in the big race will receive a big boost if Elusive Ridge can score in the Handicap at 7.00pm and 14/1 looks to be a fairly big price for him and he is worth an each way bet for sure. However, the value bet of the race looks to be the Ger Lyons trained Joe Eile who has won over course and distance previously and was a recent winner of a 6 furlong contest on Heavy ground at the Curragh.
Having been dropped 6lbs for finishing 3lenghts back in seventh last time out, the Arthur Moore trained Quinine looks to be one worth keeping an eye on in the Nursery at 7.30pm. A rare juvenile runner on the flat for Moore, the daughter of Dark Angel scored at Down Royal two runs back and has since had her mark revised and could put her in contention in this one. She is also the only winner in the field and the trip should suit.
In the 8.30pm, Lady Bennett scrapes into the race as first reserve and could be a blessing for Charlie Swan as the daughter of High Chapparal could prove to be hard to beat. She was second last time out and fourth the previous run behind Paddy The Celeb and there is now a good turnaround in the weights in her favour. Emmet McNamara takes the mount and should go close.
It is very hard to look past Misty Lane in the penultimate race which is Division 1 of the 10 furlong handicap. Having won over a mile two runs back at Dundalk, she then went on to finish second behind Love Nest again over a mile at the county Louth track. Despite being raised three pounds for that effort, Niall McCullagh’s mount should improve for the extra two furlongs and will be hard to beat.
Coach Bombay has been raised 15lbs since winning at Dundalk a couple of runs back over a mile and half and has since finished second behind Parramatta over 11 furlongs and should prove difficult to beat in a weak enough race. He won very easily at the start of September and that form alone should be ensure that he scores again this evening.
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Best bets at Dundalk
Colour of Love (6.oopm) 9/4
The Reek (6.30pm) 5/1
Joe Eile (7.00pm) 10/1
Quinine (7.30pm) 11/2
Balmont Mast (8.00pm) 6/1
Lady Bennett (8.30pm) 6/1
Misty Lane (9.00pm) 3/1
Coach Bombay (9.25pm) 4/1