A busy jumping programme gets the weeklong Listowel Harvest Festival under way tomorrow, with the ground expected to ride suitably soft.
While the opening exchanges are low-key compared to the fare later in the week at the venue, it is a largely competitive spread. Old-stagers like Sir Frederick and De Valira are out to prove they aren't yet past it, with up-and-comers such as Peak Raider and Adropaupep lending further intrigue.
Lucky 15 quartet
In the day's feature, the Dawn Milk Handicap Chase, Davy Russell bids for a third win in the past four renewals on the top-weight and former Galway Plate hero Sir Frederick. Preferred is Tommy Carberry's Peak Raider, which will love the ground and has dropped 7lb since fifth to Idarah at Fairyhouse over Easter.
Earlier, Coosan Belle could turn the tables on Adropaupep in the Low Low EBF Mares Hurdle. When they met at Cork, the latter won tidily, but Coosan Belle has also since scored at Tramore and is eight pounds better off with her main rival.
Ruby Walsh is fancied to make a successful return from injury on Salute Him in the Kerrymaid Hurdle, while Ravensbury is worth a look under sister Katie in the bumper. That one ran well when second to Hidden Cyclone on its debut last year.
Outsider to note
Given the strength of the opposition he faces in the beginners' chase, Forjoetheplumber will probably trade at double-figure odds tomorrow. De Valira and Russian War set the standard on recent form, and could fight out the finish.
Nonetheless, Forjoetheplumber would have a chance of making the frame if he has some luck. The Jimmy Mangan-trained gelding hasn't competed for just over a year, but has some placed form when last seen.
The 'final' focus
The only other thing up for discussion at Listowel this week will be the All-Ireland SFC final tomorrow week. To get into the spirit of things, we thought we'd scan the runners to find the most aptly named horse.
With Kerry in mind, Easy Reach (sad but probably true), Hold The Aces (ditto) and He Is Top Class (The Gooch) jump out in the opener, but, being from Cork, we object to all of the above. Instead, we prefer the look of the mares' race. Destined For Fame is exactly what the Dubs will be if they deliver, while we'd like to think Sam Maguire is bound for a New Destination. And, for those who take the 6/4 for the Dubs, hopefully Get In There will be heard on the Hill.
Key Listowel stat
Danny Howard doesn't ride much these days and hasn't at Listowel for five years, but his last ride there was a winner and a strike-rate of
7-36 for 19pc is impressive. Howard's level-stake profit is a whopping 49, so it will be interesting to see how he fares in the mares' race on Lough Donnell Mist, his one ride tomorrow.