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On official ratings and current form, this looks likely to be between Raphael and Comin’ Through, with the contest probably going to the one that copes best with this drop in trip. While the former has run over 10f on his last two runs, all of his best form is at a mile, winning off a mark of 87 here in January. He does have previous experience at 7f, most recently when fourth here off 84 in December 2019. The gelding has been keen early on in his race over further of late, so with a stronger pace more likely here, he should settle better and looks the one to be on.

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Since winning here off a mark of 50 in November, Adrian McGuinness’ gelding has run a number of cracking races over course and distance. On three occasions in the meantime has the 8yo led for most of the way only to be collared in the final furlong to finish a close second or third. He was beaten less than 2l here last time out, off his current mark, so he’s not handicapped out of things. A plum draw of stall one will allow him to bounce out and dictate things from the front under Cian MacRedmond, and with the energy saved bagging an early position, he could well fight off all comers for another Dundalk victory.

Odd Venture
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There’s no denying that Chateau Musar is in good form at the minute, but he may well be vulnerable up in the weights over a trip he’s disappointed over previously. Instead, this could go to Odd Venture who has run two good races since joining Keith Watson this winter. He was fourth, running from out of the weights, over course and distance on stable debut with cheekpieces applied first time that day. He followed that up with a staying on third back here over 10f last month, his finishing effort suggesting that a return to this distance is worthwhile.

Gougane Barry
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Mick Halford’s charge might have recorded back to back placed efforts over course and distance had he enjoyed a clearer run of things last time out. Nevertheless, 7yo still finished a close fourth that day, and will surely be there or thereabouts again off just 1lb higher. The booking of Colin Keane is particularly eye-catching, with Halford and Keane teaming up just 13 times in the past but with six winners and two seconds to show for it, they rarely work together on something with no chance.

About Dundalk Racecourse

Opened in 2007, Dundalk’s all-weather track replaced a previous turf venue that closed in 2001. Since the new polytrack surface was laid, the venue has been home to a trio of Listed and Group 3 contests that have between them thrown up Breeders’ Cup, Irish 2000 Guineas and Royal Ascot winners.

A fair left-handed oval, you won’t have too many hard luck stories at Dundalk, but you might just spot a future star testing their credentials.

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