Everyone has been enjoying the fine weather and I’d say flat horses everywhere are very forward. Our horses look great and we are getting them ready for the turf season which starts in a few weeks’ time. We have some very nice horses and they are where we want them to be, but March can be a tough month and invariably, the flat season starts off on testing ground, so we’ll see what way the weather goes over the next couple of weeks. The good weather has helped us no end and we are looking forward to the turf season, but in the meantime, we bring three nice horses to Dundalk tonight.

6.45 Surrounding (Ronan Whelan)

She has developed onto a great servant and we had planned to give her a break after she won her listed race at the end of last year, with the aim of trying to qualify her for Good Friday at Lingfield. On all known form, she has it to do to beat I Can Fly, but she is in great form and takes her chance. As I said, I have Lingfield in mind for her – this is a fast track qualifier and depending on how tonight goes, she may have to run again before Good Friday. She is fresh and well and she has never been out of the first four at Dundalk. I just hope there is a bit of pace in the race, as she loves to have something to aim at in her races. Her owners, the Newell family have been wonderful supporters of the yard and they love their racing and I’m delighted that she has done so well for them.

SURROUNDING and Ronan Whelan (near side).  Photo Healy Racing.

7.15 Gougane Barra (Ronan Whelan)

He has developed into a good servant for (his owner) Paul Rooney and he ran well to a point when we stepped him up in class the last day. He wasn’t beaten far and we were more or less were forced to run him the last day, as there was nothing for him until tonight and I’d say the race may have come a bit soon for him too – it was just a seven-day turnaround after he had won the week before. He drops back a bit in class – he has three lengths to find with Sevenleft on their last run, and he also drops back from a mile to seven furlongs, but I’ve been happy with him and he has a good draw. If things go his way, he looks sure to run a big race.


7.45 Playa Del Puente (Ronan Whelan)

He has won two from two at Dundalk over the winter and his owner Mr Huang Kai Wen has come over to see him run – he was here with us yesterday morning. He looks an exciting prospect. He likes the track and he is a very progressive type and I think he’s a stakes performer, but Aidan runs two smart horses rated 107 and 110 respectively and they will be hard to beat. Our horse is going the right way and he has a great temperament and I’ve been very happy with him since his last run. This looks the obvious place to go with him and either way, we will learn a good bit more about him after tonight.

PLAYA DEL PUENTA and Ronan Whelan
Photo Healy Racing.