It’s Kerry National day at Listowel and normally you would look forward to crossing the bridge into the racecourse, mixing with a few punters after a good night in town.
There’s none of that this year but at least the racing is on and there’s some cracking races to bet on round here and, with decent ground, you need fluent jumpers and horses that travel well.
Premium Package won nicely at Down Royal last time and this son of Presenting will enjoy the decent ground and could still be well handicapped off a mark of 121.
Rachael Blackmore and Henry de Bromhead are a force to be reckoned with and the third in the Down Royal race, Red Gerry, has since won at Punchestown.
One of the others that deserves a mention is Metal Man who beat another of today’s rivals, Oscar Montel last time out and now has the cheekpieces fitted to try and eke out a little more improvement.
West Cork Wildway ran in a 2m 4f maiden hurdle at this festival last year finishing third but the horse that was ahead of him in second place is now rated 130. West Cork Wildway could still be reasonably handicapped off a mark of 120.
He won nicely at Killarney last time over 2m 1f and this step up in trip is a worry for him as he disappointed at Thurles on very soft ground in March, but this ground will help him get the trip.
Overall though, I’ll stick with Premium Package to win.
Rapid Response will be popular in this mares’ novice chase as trainer Jessie Harrington is in good form and her runners in both codes have always are to be respected.
This one has a little to find with Western Victory on running at Roscommon. Our Roxanne has only one run over fences to date but that was a good second on bad ground at Thurles, so she may well be a better sort on this faster surface as her second at Leopardstown over hurdles to Black Tears shows.
Dime A Dozen is a model of consistency and won nicely at Roscommon two starts back beating Popong.
I worry that there is a chance this could turn into a bun fight as a few of these like to dominate up front, but I’m hoping Western Victory will not get involved in those tactics and can pounce late on.
The feature race of the day and there lots with chances in it. Charles Byrnes’ Doctor Duffy is towards the head of the market after two wins at Ballinrobe and Kilbeggan. His mark of 145 is by no means lenient though! Ravenhill is a Cheltenham Festival winner and also second in the race last year off a 16lbs lower mark.
Cabaret Queen was third in the Galway Plate with Blazer back in seventh. Blazer now has cheekpieces on having been third at Killarney to Mortal. Robin Des Foret was second in that race.
Plan Of Attack is interesting as this lad won at Aintree last October and finished a good third in the Paddy Power over Christmas at Leopardstown.
He is definitely on the shortlist with a light weight.
The West’s Awake ran a hell of a race in the Galway Plate and loves this track. He finished second here in a handicap last year over 2m 4f to A Toi Phil and is the each-way selection at what should be a double-digit price. It was a close call
between him and Plan Of Attack but The West’s Awake just gets the nod.
The penultimate race on Wednesday’s card is a 2m 6f beginners chase. Gordon Elliott’s Aforementioned finished second at Kilbeggan to Doctor Duffy, while John Halley’s Ballymacaw was second in a novice chase at Galway last time to the well-backed Tiger Voice.
Joseph O’Brien’s Jack Dillinger is highly thought of and, with some useful chasing form already in the book, gets the vote.
Mick Fitz’s tips for Listowel on Wednesday
*The latest odds are bang up to date on our new bet widget
- Sprint over to all the top tips and racing previews now
- Horse Racing: How to watch racing for free with Paddy Power
- Placing bets is easier than ever with Paddy Power News’ live odds banners