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Bob Lingo can rule in Listowel

AT THE end of a trying week, Listowel's Harvest Festival comes to a close with a six-race spread that isn't without a touch of quality.

Following on from the loss of three Flat races that were scheduled for this afternoon due to deteriorating ground conditions at the Kerry track, Horse Racing Ireland yesterday announced that Dundalk will stage an additional fixture next Thursday.

The long-distance amateur riders' Flat race remains on today's agenda and looks a decent contest, but the MJ Carroll Arro Handicap Hurdle is the pick of the day's activity.

Ruby Walsh renews his acquaintance with Drive Time in the €25,000 two-and-a-half-miler for the first time since Willie Mullins' promising hurdler sent him crashing to the ground in the Galway Hurdle, a fall that left the rider momentarily knocked out and with a fractured ankle.

In a nine-runner affair that lacks depth, the partnership will probably take all the beating, though Bob Lingo is marginally preferred.

Tom Mullins' 10-year-old posted a career-best effort to storm home under Mark Walsh in the Galway Plate off a mark of 139 and subsequently reaffirmed his wellbeing when collecting off 119 over hurdles at Killarney.

Significantly, that line of form has been franked by Blazing Tempo scoring at Kilbeggan in the meantime.

Naturally, the handicapper has had his say too, but a 10lb hike still leaves Bob Lingo nicely treated over flights.

The eight-time champion jockey isn't short of other winning chances on the card.

In the Lynch's Bakery Maiden Hurdle, he will take plenty stopping on Killarney bumper winner Reine Angevine, while Twinlight looks to have a similarly straightforward task in the first division of the Allman Contractors Beginners' Chase.

Tony Martin's Benefficient probably has more to contend with in the second leg, but, as a Grade One winner, he is another that should win if he strips fit on his reappearance.

The day's nap selection is Fair Dilemma in the Martinstown Hurdle.

Although there are 12 runners in this, few boast any sort of recent form. Fair Dilemma, on the other hand, was second in two chases prior to getting off the mark over fences here on Sunday for Jimmy and Paddy Mangan.

He lines out now off a 26lb lower mark than he will do in future over the bigger obstacles, so it's hard not to fancy him under Harry Dunne.

In the qualified riders' race, Missunited is taken to continue her fine run of recent form at Tarla's expense.

At Gowran Park tomorrow, the Queen's first-time blinkered Momentary is one of three English raiders in the Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Stakes.

You could make a case for any of the trio, but Dermot Weld's progressive Caponata has the most solid claim on the Listed prize after two fine seconds in Group company.

Dessie Hughes' Definite Class is napped to turn Kilbeggan form around with Blazing Tempo in the mares' hurdle.

Clarach is also a contender here, but Definite Class receives 10lbs from both, and that could prove crucial.

Irish Independent