Joseph O'Brien to get off the mark
Joseph O'Brien won't have to wait long for his first winner in his new guise as a trainer operating from his father Aidan's original base on Carriganog Hill.
The 23-year-old has been overseeing the Kilkenny side of the operation since last year.
In effect, he has already been responsible for a Cheltenham Festival winner in Ivanovich Gorbatov, with JP McManus set to provide a serious amount of ammunition over jumps.
It remains to be seen whether the famous Coolmore silks of John Magnier and Michael Tabor will feature from the Owning yard, but O'Brien has already received the backing of Sheikh Fahad Al Thani's Qatar Racing firm.
He is to train a €165,000 colt for them called New World Order, a two-year-old that was acquired at the recent breeze-up sale in Goresbridge.
O'Brien seems destined to make a success of his new vocation and today, 23 years after his father Aidan secured his first win with Wandering Thoughts on a June Bank Holiday card at Tralee, he should get off to a flying start.
He has seven runners across the two scheduled meetings at Listowel, which replaces the lost Tralee fixture and Gowran Park, including one in each of the curtain raisers.
Father and son will go head-to-head at Gowran, where the Ballydoyle genius introduces the War Front colt Leo Minor, while Joseph draws on the once-raced Justice Frederick.
On its track bow behind Pedestal at Tipperary last month, Justice Frederick finished powerfully to be third over five furlongs. The Lawman colt steps up to seven now and is expected to be hard to beat under the handler's brother, Donnacha.
Also on duty at Gowran are the Derby heroes Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen, and their Baliyka appeals as nap material in the finale. The Aga Khan's Cape Cross filly improved from her first run to be second at Naas. That was over seven furlongs, and this return to a mile will suit.
If Justice Frederick fluffs its lines, O'Brien could make amends 15 minutes later at Listowel, where he will be represented by Kalopsia in the opening mares' maiden hurdle.
A dual bumper winner last summer, Barry Geraghty's mount didn't cope with the mud in winter, but still gained the benefit of an outing over flights.
Mai Fitzs JACK and Oathkeeper also have big chances for the team later on, while Little Mitch is one to note in the three-mile handicap hurdle. Yvonne Latta's mare will be fitter for its recent return at Limerick, where it ran a nice race to be second under Mark Walsh.