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Wednesday 11 December 2019

Maxwell will have a Point to prove on Dundalk all-weather

Nigg Bay, winning at Ayr in July, can win again at Dundalk
Nigg Bay, winning at Ayr in July, can win again at Dundalk

Grade One winners were to the fore at Clonmel yesterday as Douvan delighted in the Clonmel Oil Chase.

The dual Cheltenham Festival winner missed all of last season but made a successful return for Willie Mullins with an impressive victory in he Grade Two contest.

"The engine is still there" remarked Townend afterwards and Douvan is likely to be aimed at a Christmas target next following this pleasing return to competitive action.

Shattered Love was another impressive winner on the card as the Grade One winning novice annihilated her rivals in the listed T.A. Morris Memorial Mares Chase for Gordon Elliott and jockey Mark Walsh who has a good record on the eight-year-old.

The list of winning jockeys at Dundalk after racing this evening could have an unusual look for a Flat card as prominent National Hunt jockeys Mark Enright and Conor Maxwell both look to have claims of success on the all-weather surface.

Maxwell was in action at Royal Ascot this year and has been a more regular rider on the level during the season and must have every chance of scoring on POINT REYES (8.15, Dundalk) for Gavin Cromwell.

Maxwell still has a valuable 3lbs claim on the Flat and Point Reyes contests a second nursery here after running a nice race on ground probably softer than ideal at Leopardstown last time out.

Mark Enright was among the winners at Fairyhouse during the week over jumps and would be a more infrequent visitor to the Flat meetings but did win on NIGG BAY (5.45, Dundalk) a week and a half ago at this venue and can do so again in the BetVictor Bet 5 Get 30 Offer Handicap.

Now carrying new colours since winning the claimer here, Nigg Bay is still trained by Johnny Levins and drops back to five furlongs on this occasion but previous form would suggest that shouldn't be a massive inconvenience.

Enright then has the opportunity for a potential brace as he rides the Denis Hogan-trained MAJOR REWARD (6.45, Dundalk) in the feature Winter Series At Dundalk 2020 Handicap.

Hooded for the first time this evening, Major Reward is having just his second start for Hogan after being claimed from Ger Lyons last month but he ran well here a fortnight ago over a couple of furlongs further and might just have what it takes to record a second course and distance win.

Elsewhere on the card, John McConnell makes the relatively short journey to Dundalk with some good chances.

HANNON (6.15, Dundalk) has ran well under both codes and can open his account on the level with victory in the Lengthen The Odds With BetVictor Maiden, while later on the card BELLICK (8.45, Dundalk) is a tentative choice in the lucky last.

DUNDALK TODAY

5.15 Big Gossey

5.45 Nigg Bay

6.15 Hannon

6.45 Major Reward

7.15 Bellepower

7.45 Spelga

8.15 Point Reyes

8.45 Bellick

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