Monday 18 December 2017

Sirius Bay can get Ruby's double bid off to a flyer

Damien McElroy

Multiple champion jockey Ruby Walsh heads to Listowel for tomorrow's opening session of the week-long meeting with great prospects of a quick double.

Further ease in the generally good going is anticipated overnight and will be welcomed by the jumping fraternity, in particular, before TG4 commence their six-day live coverage on Monday of this final festival of the year.

Walsh got the gathering off to a profitable start for favourite backers aboard Fitzfirth 12 months ago and he could oblige again in the Charleville Cheese Maiden Hurdle on Paul Nolan's Sirius Bay.

The six-runner Kerrymaid Hurdle, which looks at the mercy of Jessica Harrington's 134-rated facile Sligo winner Alpine Eagle, has been replaced as opening leg of the Jackpot by the better-supported Dawn Omega Milk Hurdle.


Alpine Eagle's stable companion Magical Memoir, controversially demoted at Galway in favour of Days Ahead, gets her chance for revenge as Eoin Doyle's promoted charge and John Nicholson's Tramore scorer Knockcroghery shoulder penalties.

A chance is taken, however, with Walsh's mount High Importance, an Arch gelding, which was a Brighton winner on the Flat and made a fine debut for his new trainer Tony Martin when a close third to Whisper Cool in a 10-furlong Dundalk handicap last Sunday.

Elsewhere, John Queally's Elyaadi should relish the two-and-a-half-mile journey of the Low Low EBF Handicap Hurdle confined to mares sufficiently to foil the hat-trick ambitions of David Kelly's much-improved Doransfirth.

Limerick trainer Davy Fitzgerald fields both Fitzfirth and Barry Geraghty's mount Hellyhunter against versatile veteran Essex in the Cheestrings Beginners Chase and preference is for Hellyhunter. Cork colleague Eugene O'Sullivan's Kerry specialist Head Waiter might defy a 6lb penalty for his latest success over Decoy Daddy when clashing with Gonebeyondrecall in the Dawn Milk Handicap Chase.

Irish Independent

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