Sport Horse Racing

Friday 23 March 2018

'Fling' can leap to Listowel prize for Cromwell

It has been a kind week to Gavin Cromwell. Picture credit: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
It has been a kind week to Gavin Cromwell. Picture credit: Matt Browne / Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

Listowel's Harvest Festival concludes after a week when the weather could have been kinder on the North Kerry track.

It has been a kind week to Gavin Cromwell, one of whose two winners was Highland Fling on the level here on Thursday. He now tackles the feature MJ Carroll ARRO Handicap Hurdle under Ger Fox and looks in the form to give it a good go.

He looked on top form on Thursday, winning nicely off 67, and he should be competitive here, getting plenty of weight off Shark Hanlon's Camlann.

The market will be compelling ahead of an opening John Lynch Memorial Maiden Hurdle in which Willie Mullins introduces Makitorix, a grey Makfi gelding which showed useful form in France. The yard knows what is needed to beat Big Ben, which finished behind the impressive Sayar at Kilbeggan.

Minella Beau, a stablemate, is no good thing on form in the Sean T McElligott Memorial Novice Hurdle, but he may handle conditions better than chief market rivals Morgan and Housesofparliament.

Ruby Walsh is the rider to follow today and he is booked aboard Tough But Honest in the Tote Handicap Hurdle, an open race. Eric McNamara's charge gets the nod.

One of the more intriguing runners today is My Hometown in the JB North Kerry Tyre Centre (QR) Handicap Steeplechase. This one was named after the Bruce Springsteen number, trainer Enda Bolger a massive fan, but he has been a major flop given his early promise. It is worth nothing how favourable his easy pointing win over Ben Button on debut now looks on paper.


Tulpar could dictate for Paddy Neville in the Charlie Chute Memorial Handicap Steeplechase, while Rathvinden can give Mullins and Walsh another winner in the Allman Contracts Ltd Novice Steeplechase.

It could be a day of great bounty for Closutton, which has another lively one in the nightcap, but Awbeg Prince is given the nod for Mikey O'Connor, who not long ago rode Rebel Fitz to win at the Festival.

Conditions are also testing at Gowran, where the feature is the Group Three Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Fillies Stakes. Gary Carroll has never set foot in Ballydoyle but is notably given the ride aboard Key To My Heart, which has a chance. So does Bumbasina, Willie McCreery's filly in at 25/1 last night, and she could out-run those odds in a tricky heat.

John Oxx has a nice sort in Upgraded in the Gowran Park Race and the Acclamation filly, which is proven both at this tricky track and on heavy, should run a big race under Declan McDonogh.

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