By luke Keena (@lukekeena1)
One of my local tracks, Bellewstown hosts its first race meeting with spectators since the start of lockdown and I am going to be there throughout the evening. A tricky eight race card is in store but hopefully I will pick out a few winners.
The first race on the card is the Irish EBF Auction Series Maiden over just short of a mile for two year olds. Capitulation is a two year old I’ve been keeping an eye on since his third over course and distance back in July. The winner on that day looked pretty good and the second has a rating of 80. On her penultimate start she made the running at Galway and ran a very nice race on nursery debut to be fourth, only weakening out of it late on. She was then ridden more patiently last time out over seven furlongs and ran a cracker to be third, doing her best work at the end suggesting she is ready for the step back up in trip. She has a feather weight of 8st 8lb on her back and I think she will go very close with Chris Hayes in the saddle for trainer Ado McGuinness.
The third race on the card is the Gerry Hughes Memorial Handicap. Talking Tough is the standout here for me. I think he is very fortunate to stay in the 45-65 bracket after his very good run the last day at Roscommon. He finished a very close second and the handicapper could have easily justified more than just the pound rise. This is the first time he has snuck into this bracket since a victory in 2020 at Sligo. Meath based trainer Michael Mulvaney rarely leaves the Hill without a winner, at last years August meeting he saddled three winners over two days. I think he will go very close with Wesley Joyce in the saddle claiming seven pounds.
The fourth race on the card is the second division of the Gerry Hughes Memorial Handicap. Kudbegood caught the eye last time out in Roscommon when finishing third behind Cracking Name and Talking Tough. Every gap Colin went for up the straight closed quickly and once he did get out it was too late, running on to be a close third. That was his second run for his new yard after switching from John McConnell. He tended to throw his races away at the start, being very slow out of the stalls. He was slowly away first time out for Mathew Smith but jumped perfectly well last time and hopefully he has left those days behind him. I think with luck in running he will be hard bet with the champion jockey, Colin Keane in the saddle.
The fifth race on the card is the Lougher Handicap with fourteen runners declared to head to post. Noble Seal was a horse I fancied at Galway when he ran a respectable race to be a close fourth. He didn’t have the cleanest of races getting a few bumps and not having the clearest of runs up the straight. He was left on the same mark for that Galway run and I think there is a race in him off this mark. He gets a seven pound pull with the winner of that race at Galway and I think that will be enough to turn the tables. He was unfortunate to run into traffic problems on his penultimate start when just held at Tipperary. Hopefully he can get compensation for those narrow defeats here with Gavin Ryan in the saddle.
My final selection runs in the J H McLoughlin Oil Handicap over five furlongs. I like the Leanne Breen trained runner, That’s Mad. He has maintained his form throughout the season running some good races. He won over course and distance at the July meeting beating Jungle Jane and Tide Of Time. He was not disgraced in better company last time out when finishing sixth in a premier handicap at Cork last month. He is five pounds higher than when winning over course and distance and I think he can defy his mark and go close with Kevin Manning in the saddle.