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'Myamo has squeak if handling surface'.

EIGHT juveniles step into handicap company for the first time this evening in this [euro]10,000 contest, writes Jessica Lamb. Of the 11 runners, only Crafty Codger, Fight U For It and the bottom weight Cilicia have run in a nursery before, with the majority of them having run only three times in maidens.

They are not outside of that company here, though, as none of the field has won a race yet. Conor Hoban takes a welcome 3lb off Method In Madness's top weight of 10st 2lb, while champion jockey Joseph O'Brien partners Mr Moondance.

Any who fail to make the podium get two more chances to land a Dundalk nursery next month before the winter all-weather season takes a Christmas break.

Look to the top weights There is a trend at Dundalk for early winter nurseries to be won by horses carrying large weights.

Over the past four years November nurseries at the track have been won by horses carrying an average of 9st 4lb, but with minimum weight rises in the past two years this has risen to 9st 9lb, and the overall average from October to December is 9st 2lb.

Method In Madness, Mr Moondance, Crafty Codger and Meihua will carry more than that.

VVWHAT they say Kevin Prendergast, trainer of Crafty Codger "He was second on his last start in a nursery and has form with the Birdcatcher second Focussed, who ran very well at Naas. He's well and we'd expect him to be there or thereabouts." Timothy Doyle, trainer of Mr Moondance "Joseph O'Brien rode him at Dundalk on his last run and liked him so has taken the ride again. Crafty Codger seems to have the best form in the race, but this horse is improving with every run and should go well."

John McConnell, trainer of Myamo "If she handles the surface we think she has a little squeak. We're going to ride her a bit differently; we won't use her up as much early and hopefully she will finish stronger. She's a big filly and has been freshened up since her last run."

7.15 Dundalk Crowne Plaza Leading Jockey And Trainer Championship Nursery Handicap 1m ATR Card page 63

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Crafty Codger (noseband): has previous nursery experience
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Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Nov 29, 2013
Words:379
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