Bob Le Beau can hit mark for Harrington at Listowel
Listowel's ever-popular Harvest Festival starts with a brilliantly competitive jumps card tomorrow, a seven-race spread that features six heats with 14 or more runners.
The conditions hurdle is the only event to fall short of a proper each-way field, though four last-time-out winners lend a touch of quality in the absence of quantity. Jessica Harington's Bob Le Beau gets the nod to take the Kerrymaid-sponsored two-miler.
A Listed winner on the Flat that boasted a handicap mark of 110 at its peak, the Big Bad Bob six-year-old chased up Blackmail at Bellewstown before scoring for a second time over flights at his ease at Down Royal. If he can build on that again under Mark Bolger, he ought to take plenty of beating.
Bolger might also take the juvenile hurdle on John McConnell's Lindenhurst, which has been a model of consistency on the Flat and over flights of late.
In the €34,000 handicap chase, Terence O'Brien's Farrells Fancy is taken to defy an 8lb hike to account for a raft of race-fit rivals on his first outing since claiming the Leopardstown Chase in January. Then the Irish Grand National fourth Sweeney Tunes finished second, the Punchestown festival winner Klepht was third and the Galway Plate hero Carlingford Lough took fourth.
Cork handler Patrick Cronin shares his name with last week's All-Ireland final goalscorer, and the Doneraile man can further his standing among Rebel County racing fans if Baidin Fheilimi bags a hat-trick under Pierce Gallagher in the mares' handicap hurdle.
Champion jockey Davy Russell could also get among the winners, with John Nallen's Minella For Value, second and first in its last two starts, the pick of his mounts in the beginners' chase.