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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Four things to note at Dundalk and Limerick

Aidan O'Brien: Clear Skies will be bidding to win her fourth straight race for the stable at Dundalk on Friday
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Squeaky clean Suitor seeks first hurdles win

Suitor was initially penalised by the Down Royal stewards who deemed he had not been allowed to run on his merits when making his hurdling and stable debut for Gordon Elliott on November 4, but connections were subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing at a Turf Club hearing.

Elliott and his team have wasted little time in getting the horse back in action in the Adare Manor Opportunity Maiden Hurdle (1.15) at Limerick and the five-year-old looks to have leading claims.

Suitor caught the eye in that first Down Royal attempt over hurdles, staying on past beaten horses to finish strongly into third.

With that experience under his belt, and a capable partner in Chris Meehan, Suitor will be well fancied to deliver for the Goldman Racing Syndicate.

Willie Mullins is represented in the contest by Sympa Des Flos, twice beaten at short odds over hurdles under Ruby Walsh. Niall Kelly takes over from Walsh and will be bidding to ride his first winner for Rich Ricci.

Clear Skies in red-hot form

A cloud seemed to hover over Clear Skies for a while but the Aidan O'Brien-trained filly has been in red-hot form lately and is chasing her fourth win on the bounce in the 1m4f handicap (8.00) at Dundalk.

The JP McManus-owned four-year-old broke her maiden tag at the eighth attempt at the track early last month and followed up with two more victories on this surface.

A rise of 7lb may not be enough to halt her progress and O'Brien said: “She obviously hasn’t done a lot since she won here last week but she did that well and we've been very happy with her since."

In what looks an interesting affair, Clear Skies will need to see off recent course winners Commander Won, Play It Cool, Abraham and My Direction.

Marnane hopeful Alfredo can finish ahead

David Marnane resisted offering up Alfredo Arcano at a recent horses-in-training sale with a view to keeping the sprinter on the go at Dundalk throughout the winter.

The decision bore fruit a fortnight ago when the three-year-old got the better of Aggression in an entertaining finish and Marnane is hopeful the gelding can back up that performance in the 5f handicap (6.00).

He said: “Alfredo Arcano came out of his recent win at the track in good shape and he’s very well, as are all of our horses.

“He’s a few pounds better off with Aggression here but it’s a tidy little race and I’d rate Oneoveryou as well.

“We think there’s plenty of opportunities for him over the winter and he’s a lovely, genuine, little horse. He’s improving and is in good nick.”

Can Koybig continue to improve?

Pat Murphy has done a great job with Koybig. The gelding made an instant impact for the stable when winning a 45-65 handicap over a mile at Dundalk at the end of October before finishing a close second over course and distance last month.

The topweight will be bidding to continue his newly found form for the Murphy yard in the mile handicap (7.30).

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We think there’s plenty of opportunities for him over the winter and he’s a lovely genuine little horse
E.W. Terms
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