Linger's level best can land Ulster Cesarewitch for O'Brien
Quiet Irish weekends are becoming all too common at this time of the year with quality thin on the ground over the next two days.
The bold initiative of the Curragh to put cards housing quality Group races on Friday evenings has been a failure and it has robbed the weekend of any star power with little to offer on the busiest two days of the racing week. Punters must wait until Irish Champions Weekend in a fortnight's time before their appetite for star-studded weekend action on these shores is sated again with a poor Down Royal Flat card today failing to spark the interest of the casual fan.
The Ladbrokes Ulster Cesarewitch Handicap (5.45) does show some familiar faces, however, with the consistent Conron hoping to get his head back in front for Jessica Harrington and Shane Foley.
Paul Traynor's Lusis Naturea is another set to be in the mix but preference is for Linger.
Joseph O'Brien's charge took a horrible fall at the last when challenging for victory over fences at Tramore two weeks ago but compensation should await in this two-and-a-quarter mile contest.
The six-year-old had notched back-to-back successes at the Galway Festival prior to that (on the Flat and over hurdles) and there may be more improvement to come having thrived since being switched to O'Brien this season.
Big fields make life difficult when trying to pick winners at Cork tomorrow but the seven-runner Matchbook Straight Seven Premier Nursery (3.20) looks a good opportunity for Aidan O'Brien's Royal County Down to land his hat-trick.
Donnacha O'Brien's mount only had a neck to spare over re-opposing stablemate Mythologic last time out at Galway but looks the more progressive of the pair having improved with every run and the son of Gleneagles can land the odds for the father-and-son combination.