Irish Racing: Polly Douglas Looks Set to Score5 min read
It’s a low key day’s action at Navan, but Polly Douglas looks something to bet on from her reduced mark after bouncing back at Listowel last time.
14:10 Sequence Events Maiden
A rather disappointing bunch in this sprint maiden, which suggests that a newcomer could feature, but I’m happy to take another chance on Chillala, who finished ahead of major rival Freiheit at the Curragh last month, and had little chance in a handicap at Dundalk off a mark of 81 last time, seeing to run to form in finishing a 5-length last. It’s odd to suggest that she might not need to improve on that effort to score, but that’s the long and short of it. Freiheit is the pick on her best form, but isn’t progressing, and didn’t do enough dropped to this trip at Down Royal to suggest she was helped by it, for all she was placed.
14:45 Club Active Gym Handicap
Polly Douglas could hardly be called prolific, but she wins more often than most of her rivals here, and hinted in no uncertain terms that she was on the way back last time, so should pay to follow in the coming weeks. She struck up a good relationship with Andrew Breslin last season before that promising rider departed to join Mark Johnston in Middleham, the partnership winning three handicaps, including one over course and distance. She paid a price for that by shooting up the handicap, but is belatedly back below her last winning mark (taking the constant fiddling of the scale into consideration), and is united with another promising apprentice in the shape of Dylan Hogan, who rode her to be an excellent second at Listowel last time over an extended six furlongs, where she had to race wider than ideal, but improved to lead off the home turn before being edged out late on by the rallying winner. The return to slightly shorter will suit, and the fitting of blinkers should sharpen her up enough to offset a wide draw, which is rarely a killer at Navan. Trainer Kieran Cotter could do with a change of luck, as two of his last three runners have been beaten by a short head. That other runner is the same owner’s Dash D’Or who also runs here, and isn’t without a chance herself.
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