Top tipster Andrew Mount turns his attention to Dundlalk, with stats, systems and two selections for Friday afternoon’s card
Ireland’s only all-weather venue hosts an eight-race card on Friday afternoon and we’re at that time of year where my ‘Dundalk Summer Lay System’ comes into play. Strictly speaking this should be called the spring, summer and autumn system and it has very simple rules, oppose the horse drawn in stall 1 in races that fit the following criteria…
1) Only consider races over 5f-1m2.5f
2) Only consider races from March to October
3) Only consider races that feature eight or more runners
Since the beginning of 2015, stall 1 has won only 42 of the 503 qualifying races (8.4% strike-rate) for a huge loss to £281.90 to a £1 level stake at SP. That’s over 56% on turnover. Laying these horses at Betfair SP would have returned a profit of more than 42% and that’s after 5% commission. In handicaps only, the strike-rate drops to 5.9%. The theory goes something like this – in the warmer months when the surface is drier and more powdery, the inside rail often rides deeper making it harder to win from stall 1. Personally, rather than lay these horses blind, I use the system to identify races where there may be vulnerable favourites and the optimistically-titled Easter Week Racing 15th and 19th April Handicap (4.30) is a case in point, as Major Power, as short as 2-1 in a place, has the inside berth in this 12-runner 6f handicap. He’s on a four-timer of course wins but the three previous victories all came over 7f and the cut back in trip might not be ideal (he went close over the extended 1m2f here in November 2018).
There are serious doubts about some of Major Power’s rivals too – Fit For Function won here on his all-weather debut but is since 0-10 at the track, while Misty At Sea has run respectably here on three occasions but his sire, Born To Sea, has a shocking record on the all-weather, with just 16 winners from 437 runners in Britain and Ireland (3.7%) for a loss of £298.93 to £1. At Dundalk only the sire’s progeny are just one from 71. He’s one to put in your GG-Alerts with a view to backing him when he returns to turf.
Oppose the above pair with POET’S PRIDE, who has a good strike-rate (three from ten) on the all-weather, with the latest win coming in a quick time over 7f at today’s venue. He’s yet to race over 6f for his current yard but he won over the minimum trip as recently as February of last year (albeit when odds-on in novice company) and it’s unlikely to inconvenience in what should be a strongly-run contest. Stall 5 looks a handy draw on recent evidence - since the start of 2018, we’ve had 40 course and distance handicaps to feature ten or more runners and stall 5 has weighed in with seven victories, compared to just one for stall 1.
We have another stall 1 favourite in the 6f Ladies Day Sunday 12th July Handicap (5.00) in the shape of Lequinto, who finished a close-up third over trip and track when 40-1 on his latest outing. The first four home were drawn high that day, with the winner (stall 12 of 13 once adjusted for the non-runners) racing very wide. Lequinto challenged widest of all and it’s hard to escape the conclusion that he was flattered.
I also want to oppose second favourite Sebs Star (stall 4). John Oxx doesn’t get many winners at Dundalk, especially in handicap company, scoring with just three of the 81 runners (3.7% strike-rate) for a loss of £67.00 to £1. Those three winners all came back in 2010 and he’s failed to muster a single winner from 53 runners in the subsequent ten years.
I’m going to take them on with AMELIA JANE (stall 9), who hasn’t had much luck with the draw here the last twice. Her trainer has had four runners in this race in the past ten years, winning it with seasonal debutants in 2015 (2-1) and 2011 (10-1), finishing a close second with a 4-1 shot in 2013 and training home last of 11 in 2012 when his representative was found to be coughing post-race.
ANDREW MOUNT'S BEST BETS
Poet’s Pride 1pt each-way (4.30 Dundalk) 11/2 William Hill
Amelia Jane 1pt win (5.00 Dundalk) 10/1 Paddy Power
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