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We’ve got a bank holiday double header in Ireland on Monday, but it’s generally pretty humdrum fare. Samcro does add some lustre to the Listowel card in fairness, and if backing up his recent win in Killarney, he should win the conditions chase at 16:05. The weather looks set fair for the weekend, so good ground in Gowran and yielding in Listowel would be my going guesses.
This is a decent handicap and Galtee Mist was an impressive winner in Listowel on Saturday. She’s bound to be a popular selection if taking up this engagement. I reckon PUNK POET could go well at a price here. This horse has struggled since the handicapper took a dim view of his wide margin win in Dundalk last November and the 14lbs rise in the ratings was too much for a race that didn’t work out well subsequently.
Connections don’t seem to know what his best trip is, as he’s been campaigned from 6 furlongs to an extended 10 furlongs. I’ve a sneaking suspicion that the 7 furlongs he gets on Monday may prove optimal. He was slightly outspeeded over 6 furlongs at Naas on his penultimate start before fading late after travelling very sweetly over a mile back at that track last time out. On both occasions he probably raced on the wrong side of the track.
He was also cut off at the start the last day and he races from the widest draw on Monday. That’s not ideal, but neither is it the death knell that it used to be on this track. There are a few pace angles here, so I’d be hopeful this horse can use his cruising speed to get a reasonable position. The handicapper is starting to relent and this relatively lightly raced sort can go close.
15:35 Listowel – Wowsham
Over to Listowel for the handicap hurdle and Go Another One enjoys a big class edge here, but does have a bit to prove on the back of some below par runs. WOWSHAM is interesting on handicap debut off what looks a civilised mark. In truth, this horse won an egg-and-spoon race in Perth last time out, but he impressed with his slick jumping mind you.
The last time he raced in Ireland he finished fourth in a hot maiden hurdle in Navan. That run came over an inadequate trip, and going off the horses who finished around him the handicapper gives him a chance here. This horse was really pouring it on late in that Perth win and I’d be confident that he will find more improvement stepping up to 3m here. This race will be just his fifth start over hurdles. The step-up in grade is the obvious concern, but there are enough positives to justify a wager.
LORD PARK looks sure to go close in here and this horse remains a maiden after 11 starts. I wouldn’t worry about that, as he ran into some scandalously well handicapped sorts last season. His comeback in Killarney last month should have him cherry ripe for this assignment. The winner of that race has since gone on to run well in a decent Curragh handicap.
Lord Park was inclined to race on and off the bridle that day. That race was over a mile and the step up to an extended 9 furlongs here should suit. A 2lbs rise for that effort isn’t ideal, but the horse still appears well handicapped. He’s highly unlikely to be taking on any subsequent group race winners here, and I’d be fairly confident he can outclass this lot.
It will be intriguing to see how Aurora Princess goes in the market for the handicap that closes the card. She could be very well treated here, but was 50/1 when winning in Leopardstown a few days ago and I’d be inclined to take her on.
I fancy EVERGREEN AND RED to defy the handicapper here. This horse got a 12lbs rise for winning in Cork last month, but he did compete off a basement mark there though. The form was let down in that Leopardstown race that Aurora Princess won, but it’s too early to say the race won’t work out and the right horses did finish second and third.
Evergreen And Red was nibbled at in the market in Cork. He travelled really well and looked to be value for more than the winning margin, as he ran about a bit when hitting the front. He was entitled to still be a bit green on just his fourth career start. Despite the weight hike, he gets to compete in the same grade here. I’m guessing a bit with how high this horse can go. So is the handicapper though, and this looks like the type of horse who could run up a bit of a sequence to me.
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