We flew back overnight from Dubai and I was delighted with Simsir – he just didn’t get the breaks early in the straight but he came home well and ran a smashing race to finish second to a good solid handicapper .

He remains very lightly raced – that was just his second start in a handicap and his fourth career outing. We’ll see how he comes out of this race but he’s an exciting horse and one that I am looking forward to running again soon at The Carnival.  There is a handicap on January 30th, which is likely to be his next target.

Surrounding was disappointing on the night and ran nowhere near her best.  She was quiet when I was saddling her and I suspect that she maybe in season.  She will be checked out today.  We will leave it a few days before we make any further plans for her.

We have four runners at Dundalk tonight and my thoughts on them are below.

5.30 Gougane Barra (Ronan Whelan)

He is coming back after a short break – he was found to be lame after his last run. He’s in good form and I am looking forward to getting him back started and he has a good draw (2) which is always an advantage up there. He has been pleasing me at home and he should run a nice race.

Lady De Vesci (Liam Browne)

I am taking 10lbs off her with Liam and there was no pace in the race the last day and if things go her way, she is more than capable of running a good race. She likes the surface, but the draw has been unkind to her (12) so she’ll need things to fall her way. If they do, she should run a good race.

7.30 Orchard Gardens (Ronan Whelan)

She’s a filly that we like. She has been to Dundalk and she seemed to handle the surface well. She is drawn out in 14, but she might be able to overcome that in a maiden. Her work suggests that she is capable of winning her maiden. She will improve for the run, but she’s been pleasing us at home and I am expecting a decent run from her.

Nice Mistake (Niall NcCullagh)

She is the first reserve so we’ll just have to see if she makes the cut. She ran a nice race the first day and she has strengthened up well since and she’s a filly that will improve with time.

8.30 Arcanears (Ronan Whelan)

He rarely runs a bad race and I think the step back up to six furlongs will suit him. He is drawn in the middle in 6 which should be fine and for a horse that operates so well on soft ground, he seems to enjoy this surface. There should be plenty of pace in the race and assuming he gets a bit of luck in running he looks sure to get into the shake-up. He has plenty of weight on his back, but he has been in great form all week, so he goes there with his chance.