Drop back in trip to suit
Give Me A Moment is the odds-on favourite for this race after a wide-margin victory at Stratford. He may repeat the dose today but he could face competition for the lead from Morgenstern if that horse is in the mood.
If a battle for the lead materialises, that may set the race up for The Cathal Don who shaped much better than the result suggests last time at Stratford over 2m6 1/2 f. Having initially raced in midfield, he made headway with a good jump at the last in the back on the first circuit to track the leaders.
He continued to race handily and moved into a share of the lead at 3 out (usual 4 out). Along with Corran Cross, he pulled clear of the rest of the field but after jumping 2 out he was soon under pressure and was pulled up after stopping very quickly in the home straight.
The Cathal Don hadn’t shown much in three runs in Britain prior to this so that was a far more encouraging performance and I think a 4lb drop is generous considering how well he ran for a long way.
The drop back in trip looks likely to suit him today and blinkers go on for the first time which may help him to find more in the closing stages.
It might be that he’s just a very weak finisher or Give Me A Moment could set a solo up front but I think he should be second favourite and any 4/1 or bigger appeals.
Returning to a straight five furlongs
Livingston Range has run three times over five furlongs at Dundalk during the Winter and showed some promise on the second of those despite that looking an unsuitable test.
He was squeezed out at the start and took a keen hold at the back of the field turning the bend into the straight. Pushed along with two furlongs to go, he gradually stayed on without ever looking like challenging the leaders to finish fifth.
He was once again held up and couldn’t get competitive last time over the same C&D and I’m hoping they go back to riding him much handier today.
On his penultimate start for Tracey Collins last year, he ran well over five furlongs at the Curragh when tracking the pace. He was only beaten 2 1/4 lengths that day in a much stronger race than this off a stone higher mark.
There isn’t a huge amount of early pace in this race so going back to those tactics could be more beneficial than trying to settle him towards the back of the field.
The uphill finish is a concern as he hasn’t looked the strongest finisher but off a sliding mark and back to a more suitable straight five furlongs I think he’s overpriced and any 16/1 or bigger appeals.
Could bounce back after a break
Twenty Minutes is just 1 from 38 and has been beaten a total of 41 lengths in his last two starts but I think he could be capable of running better than his big price suggests.
He ran well off an 11lb higher mark on his first start last year over five furlongs at Down Royal when he was unfavourably positioned on the outside.
A slow start cost him any chance over the same C&D two starts later and he’s been well beaten on both starts after that but I think the ground was too soft for him at Naas and he was outclassed on the beach at Laytown.
The return to quicker ground on the turf today should suit and he’s run well on a couple of occasions at this track.
There is a concern that he would ideally want a strong pace to close into and a bit further than the bare five furlongs but hopefully he’s been freshened up by the break and any 20/1 or bigger appeals.
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