Ex Patriot bidding to justify star Lartigue billing
Ex Patriot, which finished a very solid fourth in the Triumph Hurdle at last season's Cheltenham Festival, bids to give weight and a beating to nine rivals in the Liam Healy Memorial Lartigue Hurdle at Listowel today.
Ellmarie Holden's four-year-old mixed it with the very best in the juvenile division last term, performing well in Graded races at Fairyhouse either side of his tremendous effort at Prestbury Park in March.
Ex Patriot makes his first appearance since Easter Monday on day three of the Harvest Festival and has plenty on his plate as he concedes more than a stone to each of his rivals but he has the class.
The Gavin Cromwell-trained Prospectus won twice during his debut campaign over jumps and lined up at Cheltenham as a major contender for the Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle under Ruby Walsh.
The son of Sakhee disappointed in the Cotswolds, but Cromwell is hoping for a better performance on his return to action, with 7lb claimer Donal McInerney taking the ride.
Walsh and Willie Mullins team up with runaway Roscommon scorer Law Girl, which was last seen finishing third behind the high-class Housesofparliament at Galway.
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Housesofparliament's trainer Joseph O'Brien fires a formidable twin assault at this €55,000 contest, with Unicorn and Mischievious Max, both winners at Downpatrick a month ago.
On The Go Again, Penneys Hun, Denham Sound, From Eden and Bold Emperor complete the line-up.
Many punters head for Listowel in the hope of having their cards marked for the upcoming winter jumps action and while the Kerry Petroleum Flat Race is the final event on today's card, nobody will be leaving early.
Six of the eight runners in the two-miler will be sampling racecourse action for the first time.
Churchtown Glen heads the list for the Mick Winters yard under 2016 champion novice point-to-point rider Chris O'Donovan. However the vote goes to Michael Hourigan's Sand Fly in the hands of his daughter Laura. This debutante looks bred for the job being a daughter of Footstepsinthesand out of the Priolo mare Laetitia, forever remembered for her part in an infamous bumper at Cork in 2005.
Meanwhile, a tilt at the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes is one option open to Warm The Voice after Brendan Duke's juvenile continued on his upward curve by defying top weight in yesterday's EBF Premier Nursery at the Kerry track.
The 7/4 favourite, who also holds an Irish 2,000 Guineas entry, stuck to his task well under Kevin Manning to hold the late thrust of Drombeg Dream by half a length to supplement wins at Galway and the Curragh.
'Fozzy' Stack's Eire Rock proved much too good for his rivals in the opening two-year-old maiden to initiate a brace for Chris Hayes.
The jockey bustled the 5/4 favourite into an early lead before going further clear down the straight, passing the post with six lengths in hand of runner-up King Of Leinster.
Hayes followed up on the Hilary McLoughlin-trained Count Of Carabass (11/2) in the Feale Handicap.
There was a notable local success in the fillies maiden over a mile as 33/1 outsider Intense Stylist took the spoils for Albert and Keith Moriarty who are based between Killorglin and Glenbeight. The four-year-old made it 24th time lucky by inflicting a three-and-a-half-length defeat on Alahida.