Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

O'Brien under orders at Dundalk

Joseph O'Brien

Champion jockey Joseph O'Brien bids to start 2013 in style on the Polytrack at Dundalk, where he has five booked rides on the eight-race card under the floodlights.

O'Brien's evening begins with Roter Baron in division one of the Crowne Plaza Hotel Race & Stay Handicap.

Denis Cullen's representative was beaten less than three lengths into third here in December and has last-start scorer Samollie and the Mick Halford-trained Alvar to fear most.

Halford's Mea Parvitas was a costly failure here just before Christmas, but she wasn't beaten that far and gets an opportunity to atone in the second instalment.

The pick of the action looks to be the Floodlit Friday Nights At Dundalk Handicap, in which Niall Madden's consistent Shake The Bucket drops back in trip to take on recent course and distance winner Shukhov and the in-form Alghanem.

Asian Wing beat the latter at this venue three weeks ago and is on a hat-trick mission in division two of the Happy New Year To All Our Patrons Handicap.

Balmont Flyer was second-best to him here the time before and renews rivalry, as does fourth-placed First Friday.

There is less in the way of winning form to go to war with in the first division, but Days Ahead was third to Asian Wing last time so probably sets the standard.

Asian Wing's trainer Takashi Kodama has further claims of success with Hanamizuki in the Crowne Plaza Leading Jockey & Trainer Championship Maiden, while last month's course and distance winner Curl Cat is back for more in the Dundalk Stadium Light Up Your Night Handicap.

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