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Captain Cullen can step up to the mark in style for Keane

WITH three favourites obliging yesterday, it was honours even between punters and layers at Listowel, but heed the warning -- today's card has a more bookie-friendly look about it.

With four competitive handicaps -- two on the level and two over jumps -- anyone who emerges from the betting ring with a profit today is likely to have found a four-leaf clover or else opted to tread very carefully with their wagers.

Lucky 15 quartet

The O'Brien camp will fancy their chances of landing both two-year-old maidens, but while he has recorded two solid runs, Fort Sam Houston is not one to trust, especially in the testing conditions.

Seamus Heffernan's mount was just touched off by Hurricane Ridge at Killarney last time. However, the winner did little for the form in yesterday's nursery, so it might pay to side with Captain Cullen.

Gerard Keane's charge, well drawn in stall three, has twice run well over six furlongs, and has given the impression that he would appreciate the extra furlong of this.

O'Brien runs two in the one-mile maiden and Athens, with son Joseph aboard, is hard to oppose. The son of Dylan Thomas was a five-length runner-up to the impressive Akeed Mofeed and should have too much pace for Fatcatinthehat.

In today's feature, the Lartigue Hurdle, a chance is taken on Gordon Elliott's Bondage. He has never won over jumps but has been a prolific winner on the Flat and with 10-4 to carry, he looks attractively weighted.

The closing maiden hurdle sees Ruby Walsh go in search of his first winner since Sunday's comeback as he takes the mount on the fancied Capisci. However, the Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old will have to find improvement if he's to beat Black Benny.

Outsider to note

The six-furlong handicap is wide open and there's likely to be decent odds had about Kardyl's Hope. Fourth at Gowran Park back in July, the five-year-old will handle the conditions and is well berthed in stall two.

Irish Independent