The Dancing Lord looks set to step up for Cusack at Dundalk
Interviewed after winning the mares' handicap hurdle for the third year running with Who's That at Leopardstown on its biggest day of the jumps season, Liam Cusack did not expect the phone to be hopping on Monday.
"I've a few nice horses coming along, plenty of room for more," the trainer said. "We work hard and have good facilities, but you are only as good as the backers you have. Results like this help."
Cusack is one to keep on the right side of. He can enjoy a rare Dundalk winner, The Dancing Lord the lock of the card in the Contract Floor Coverings Handicap (division two) tonight.
Robbie Downey takes the ride from Connor King, who met trouble on the horse on his first run for the stable last time. He is down 15lb from his peak rating when with John Geoghegan.
In the other division, Syndex can prove that a change of yard can prompt a revival. He's joined Italian native Natalia Lupini.
Tonight's feature GAIN Handicap sees Josephine Gordon have just her second Irish ride, aboard the raider, Gentleman. Tentative preference goes to the frustrating Shepherd's Purse under Gary Carroll, though he has had plenty of chances, as has Split The Atom. Strategic Heights, too, is thoroughly exposed but his last couple of efforts and a drop back to the minimum distance give him every chance of snaring the opening Fast Shipping Ireland Ltd Handicap.
Joseph O'Brien makes ample use of Dundalk and, so ordinary is the opposition, Remember The Days may strike on debut in the Print Express Maiden. In that race, O'Brien runs two; in the Carrickdale Hotel & Spa Handicap, he is triple-handed. Brother Donnacha takes over on Sweetasever, which is fairly solid in a trappy three-year-olds' heat.
The Elusive Pimpernel Maiden is a poor race. While tipping up a four-year-old newcomer is hardly ideal, Robe Of Honour is still of note. The dam was decent and won an all-weather handicap over further than tonight's distance.
Many eyes will be on Pique Sous in a classy closing Racing Post Handicap. Willie Mullins' grey got loose here last week before an intended run in a race the chances are he would have won.
This is probably a little tougher and the in-form Catchy Lass may strike again under 5lb claimer Conor McGovern, though she is up markedly in grade. Hat-trick-seeking Duchessofflorence must be feared too.