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Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Tough call for Keane who opts for Tuff Love in fast-track qualifier

Colin Keane: could strike on Inscribe at Gowran Park
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7.30 Dundalk Race | 7f | ATR

A big prize-pool, small field, half of them are trained by Ger Lyons but it is a fascinating contest nonetheless.

This is a fast-track qualifier for the lucrative Lingfield meeting on Good Friday next month and it would come as little surprise to see any of the four show up there. Ruling out any of the quartet tonight is not easy.

Colin Keane does not even know if he is on the right one of Ger Lyons'. He has gone for the unbeaten Tuff Love who has won his only start. That was over tonight's course and distance 28 days ago where he travelled sweetly to the 2f pole and showed a good attitude to stick his head in front where it mattered most.

Keane could have ridden Rock In Peace who is on a hat-trick having won his last two starts at Dundalk over 1m and 7f. The rider himself does not know if he has made the right call.

“I've gone with Tuff Love but it was a tough call,” Keane said. “I thought he felt like a good horse when he won his maiden and I am almost certain he has improved at home since. I like him.

“Rock In Peace is improving fast and he seems to love the all-weather. He handles the surface well and could not be in better form. I think and hope that I am on the right one but would I be shocked if Rock In Peace won? Certainly not. He's got a big chance too.”

Joseph O'Brien is represented by Remember The Days who, like Tuff Love, has won his only start. He was a convincing winner of a maiden over 1m but his trainer is worried about dropping down a furlong in trip.

“He won nicely on his debut but coming back in trip is not idea. If he did happen to win then we might think about a trip to Lingfield for him but, if he doesn't, there is a winners-of-one race back at Dundalk in a few weeks time that could suit him. We will see how he gets on it this first,” O'Brien said.

Card and betting

The likely favourite is Visionary, a rare runner in Ireland for Robert Cowell. The Dream Ahead colt has won two of his five starts and arrives with a rating of 94. Irish champion Pat Smullen has been booked and a bold showing looks on the cards.

I've gone with Tuff Love but it was a tough call
E.W. Terms
Sky bet