Model duo can hold Court as Harvest Festival concludes
Listowel's crowds held up strongly, according to the official figures this week, and the Harvest Festival concludes today with an eight-race offering.
They say that it began last Sunday and concludes today because tomorrow is All-Ireland final day and the thought was that Kerry might be involved. There is no racing at Ballinrobe tomorrow either!
Prize-money has been impressive all week at the North Kerry track and today the feature is the €30,000 MJ Carroll ARRO Handicap Hurdle. Perhaps Colm Murphy can provide the solution in Killiney Court, ridden by fellow Wexford native, Mikey Fogarty.
The seven-year-old's claims are pressing in this company. His third to Bitview Colin at Cork has gotten a form boost since and he backed that up with an easy win over fences at Ballinrobe. He travels nicely in his races.
Willie Mullins is criticised from time to time for not pitching his stars against each other. However, he cannot be accused of selective placing in the Sean T McElligott Memorial Novice Hurdle, in which stable allies Bel Sas and Penhill lock horns.
This is intriguing and it is not easy to split two rather different horses. Bel Sas is a solid National Hunt type who wants farther; Penhill is a flashy sort off the Flat which jumped deplorably at Galway last time.
Thanks to one of the truly awe-inducing rides by Ruby Walsh, the son of Mount Nelson somehow prevailed in Ballybrit after touching around 800/1 in running. He can take this too.
Aspen Colorado, a one-time Cheltenham Bumper fancy, looks the class act in the opening John Lynch Memorial Maiden Hurdle. However, he will be priced accordingly and an each-way bet on Golden Poet may be more prudent. This one has the assistance of Davy Russell and has useful bumper form.
The Beasley Engineering Limited Handicap Steeplechase sees both Presenting Beara and Thomond return to racing after exhausting layoffs. With the Noel Meade-trained jumpers in nice form, it may pay to take a chance on Thomond for all that he has not been witnessed publicly in almost two years.
Charles Byrnes awaits his first winner this month but Oscar Lantern finished second for the stable on Thursday and, of all his horses, Not For You deserves a change of luck. He was cantering when carried out last time and can atone in the Chutehall International Ltd (QR) Handicap Steeplechase off a low weight under Richie Harding.
The nap selection goes to the son of Beneficial, while the high-class Hidden Cyclone can end the Listowel festival as he began it: by winning, this time in the Listowel Races Supporters Club Slan Abhaile (QR) Race.