A Rated ready to secure top marks for De Bromhead
Bank Holiday punters hoping to boost their accounts at Gowran Park and Listowel today face some tricky betting decisions.
Gowran hosts an all-Flat card with some open contests, while good cases can be made for plenty of runners on an eight-race National Hunt fixture at the Kerry venue, with the featured John J Galvin Handicap Steeplechase a case in point.
A good number of the 16 declared have claims on the €17,000 winner's purse in this 2m 3f contest, with Willie Mullins running two in top-weight Montalbano and Townshend, while Henry de Bromhead is triple-handed with Attribution, A Rated and Surf Instructor.
A Rated is posted as the early favourite and can justify that faith with Dylan Robinson in the saddle, having finished a good second at Punchestown in April, beaten five lengths by Kemboy. Some improvement from that effort should see the Flemensfirth gelding go close here.
De Bromhead and Robinson can also strike earlier in the card with Black Key in the John B Keane Maiden Hurdle. This son of Authorized has failed to score in 10 starts, but he has put in some fine efforts in defeat, and was third in this race 12 months ago.
He was a good sixth at the Punchestown Festival on his last start, and could break his duck in this contest, with Robinson taking five pounds off. Storm Rising ran well to finish second at Limerick on his last start and he is an obvious danger.
Jammy George and Border Control have chances, too, while Roman Rock (half-brother to three time Grade One winner Go Native) finished a fine third on his debut at Killarney last month.
At Gowran, the Kilkenny Senior Hurlers Race Day June 23rd Handicap is the biggest pot up for grabs and Knowing You can oblige for Dermot Weld and Declan McDonogh, after having trouble in running at this venue last time out when finishing fourth when well-backed.
First-time headgear should help, although the ground may be a concern, with Knowing You having only raced on soft terrain. Snowstar also won twice last year, both over the minimum trip, and could be the biggest danger.
Meanwhile, yesterday's meeting at Kilbeggan had to be cancelled due to a burst water main. The Westmeath venue was left without a water supply due to the issue in Dysart, leaving the course management with no option but to call off the jumps fixture.
A statement from track managing director Paddy Duncan said: "It is with deep regret that I announce that Kilbeggan races have been called off today due to a burst water main which has left the racecourse with no water."
The card will now be staged tomorrow evening, with original declarations to stand.
Listowel staged the first of its two-day fixture yesterday and Willie McCreery and jockey Billy Lee doubled up in the June sunshine.
Reserve True To Herself (7/1) made the most of her opportunity in the fillies' maiden. With two non-runners in the race, McCreery's filly got in and faced 14 rivals. The grey daughter of Clodovil kept wide and made good headway into third with a furlong to race. Lee soon got into the drive position and his mount swept past Zoffanyia and Proud And Elated.
"She is owned by a lovely fella, Brian 'Beano' McDonald (and his father Tom McDonald), who was a good footballer for Laois," McCreery said.
"This is his first horse in training. I told him she mightn't get in and not to bother coming down so I suppose he's fit to kill me!"
McCreery and Lee also took the opening two-year-old auction maiden with Mintd, the 9/4 shot beating Aidan O'Brien's even-money favourite Coral Beach by three lengths.