Harrington pulls Freedom out of Dundalk
Tonight's Dundalk spread has been robbed of a little star appeal, with Jessica Harrington opting not to declare her Supreme Novices' Hurdle fancy Steps To Freedom at the 11th hour.
The Moone handler is instead planning to give her unbeaten hurdler a gallop after racing at Leopardstown on March 4 ahead of his Cheltenham appointment, rendering this evening's Horseware Ireland On Facebook Race just another mundane all-weather conditions heat.
Harry Rogers' game Solo Performer will try to win for a third time in four starts in the 12-furlong contest, but preference is for the O'Brien family representative Flavia Tatiana, which should go close under Joseph O'Brien.
Solo Performer is partnered by leading jumps jockey Andrew Lynch, and his colleague Niall Madden gets the nod on Rogers' Lily's Star in the mile handicap.
There is a further connection with the winter pursuit on the seven-race programme courtesy of Tommy Carmody's return to the training ranks.
Twice champion jump jockey in the 1980s, Carmody's last runner from his old Curragh base was nearly seven years ago, and he is now operating out of Johnny Murtagh's yard, where he has half a dozen horses for the leading English owner Andrew Tinkler.
The new partnership's first runner is the Murtagh-ridden Miss Mediator in the fillies' maiden, but the race-fit Atmospheric High looks the one to side with for Eddie Lynam and Billy Lee.
Later on, Lynam and Wayne Lordan carry the nap hopes when Atticus Finch tackles the claimer.