Alliance bids to go one better for young Smithers; RACE IN FOCUS.
6.30 Dundalk Christmas Party Nights At Dundalk Stadium Apprentice Handicap 7f ATR Card page 64 THE Michael Halford-trained Dark Alliance was denied a second course success last time at Dundalk when his late run under young Robert Smithers just failed to wear down Appointment Only.
Kildare native Smithers is apprenticed to Halford and has been given the opportunity again here aboard the talented fiveyear-old, who is rated 7lb clear of his nearest rival.
Deadly at Dundalk Of the 13 runners, seven have already scored at the track - Dark Alliance, Knights Templar, Zylan, Sister Slew, Captain Midnight, Fastidious and Balmont Blast.
?What they say Michael Halford, trainer of Dark Alliance He ran a blinder here last week and a reproduction of that would see him go close. He's in the sales next week so we said we'd let him take his chance.
Michael O'Callaghan, trainer of Fastidious He's more of a lead horse at home and an old favourite around the yard, and I'd be very surprised if he were to win.
Joseph Murray, trainer of Captain Midnight We raced him over the winter at Dundalk and he loves it there. We gave him a break in February and, while he hasn't run since, he's a course-and-distance winner and is as fit as we can have him at home. He should run well. Shane Nolan, trainer of Sister Slew She's in really good form. Stall eight should suit her as she doesn't like being surrounded by horses. Robbie [Downey] knows her well and she can be difficult at times, but he knows how to coax her along. She loves it at Dundalk and we think she can run well.
John Larkin, trainer of Chillie Billie He just kept missing the ground all summer but is back in good form at home. He's run well at Dundalk but has never managed to win there. He's also won off a higher mark in the past as well. David Marnane, trainer of Zylan He's in good nick and has a good draw so we're hopeful of a good run. He goes there with a decent chance.
Ted Walsh, trainer of Approbare He's an ordinary beast in an ordinary race and he has an ordinary chance.