LISTOWEL DAY 2, MONDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER
What a card it is at Listowel! A flat card that carries €207,000 in prize-money and includes the following:
- €50,000 Edmund & Josie Whelan Memorial Listowel Stakes (Listed Race) at 3:25pm
- €50,000 www.listowelraces.ie Handicap (Premier Handicap) at 3:55pm
- €40,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Premier Nursery Handicap at 4:25pm
- €25,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies’ Handicap at 4:55pm
All of the top flat jockeys will be riding on the card, along with some of the leading apprentices. Also, one of the top National Hunt jockeys, Rachael Blackmore, rides Legal Spin (who will race in first-time blinkers) for Willie Mullins in the 3:55pm race.
As ever, Alan Marron is here to flag up some fancies that might be worth a flutter at the Harvest Festival.
2.20 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF MAIDEN
JUNGLE COVE drops down in class here to try and break his maiden after finishing 6th behind Armoury in the Group 2 Futurity Stakes at the Curragh on the 23rd of August.
His placed form behind Iberia the time before last, and also behind Armoury earlier in the season, looks strong enough to take this maiden with question marks over many of the opposition.
When a horse has numerous runs and is struggling to break his maiden tag, you need to watch out for one that could improve off a first run or first-time out. This race doesn’t look the strongest maiden and it would be difficult to oppose Jungle Cove on what he has shown so far.
2.50 FEALE HANDICAP
The form of COMHGHAIRDEAS going into this race wouldn’t inspire anyone to back him considering he has five zeros beside his name, but I think he has a very strong chance.
He was second over this course back in 2017, and the most interesting factor to take into the equation here is the booking of Declan McDonogh plus the application for the first time. Declan rode this horse numerous times early in his career but he hasn’t been aboard since victory back on the 31st August 2017.
Since then the horse has dropped a total of 26lbs in the handicap ratings and to me it looks like he could be ready to strike very soon again.
He is only a five-year-old who has been contending decent Curragh handicaps so this will be a slight drop in grade and he should go well off a nice handicap mark.
3.25 EDMUND & JOSIE WHELAN MEMORIAL LISTED RACE
LANCASTER HOUSE moves up in grade here from his maiden win in Galway and then his race in Tipperary that he won very easily, to say the least.
He looks like a horse that the Coolmore team like a lot and are progressing through the grades with patience.
He has a tough draw in 17 here but I could see Donnacha O’Brien being happy to sit off the pace and come wide with a late run to show his class.
This horse, for me, has looked like a Group horse in both his runs so far. If he has aspirations of reaching those lofty heights then he will need to win here and win well.
I think he is one to keep on the right side of and is a horse to follow for the future.
3.55 WWW.LISTOWELRACES.IE HANDICAP (PREMIER HANDICAP)
Listowel is the sort of track that really suits front runners and PEARL WARRIOR looks ideally berthed in stall one to attack and go from the front.
He has won his last two races very easily from the front and gone up a total of 16lbs in the handicap. He sneaks in here at the foot of the weights and Johnny Murtagh couldn’t have his team in any better form with three winners last week.
This horse carries 8st4lb on his back and Andrew Slattery will claim five pounds. If he is still improving, he has, so to speak, absolutely no weight on his back and could be very hard to catch from the front.
4.25 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF PREMIER NURSERY HANDICAP
We go to the foot of the weights again here where the Michael Mulvany-trained IN FROM THE COLD, with Nathan Crosse aboard, looks to have a solid each-way chance.
He has four lengths to find with Troop Commander, who reopposes here, and I think he will get very close to him.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Emperor Of The Sun won nicely in Galway but has plenty of weight on his back here.
In From The Cold, like many of Michael Mulvany’s horses, is battled-hardened and has had plenty of racing this season. This a trappy-enough nursery, but the form could stand out for later in the season and even into their three-year-old careers.
4.55 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF EBF PREMIER FILLIES HANDICAP
MEAN FOMHAIR was visually very impressive when bolting up under Colin Keane for his dad Gerry last Monday evening at Roscommon. The handicapper took a dim view of it and has raised her 15lb.
Colin reported after the race that the filly had only really come to herself in recent times. I think she will oblige again here as she looked to have plenty in hand and won going away at Roscommon.
She has a nice draw and, if she is impressive here, she could be one to watch for later in the season as no doubt Gerry Keane will be looking to gain a bit of black type with her. She is a full-sister to the 2016 Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas winner, Jet Setting.
5.25 FOLLOW LISTOWEL RACES ON TWITTER MAIDEN
This is not the strongest maiden in the world to end the card, but John Oxx will be looking for CLOCKERS CORNER to produce a similar run to last time out and, if so, it should be more than enough to oblige here.
He drops back from a mile to seven furlongs and, after leading from the two pole to the one last time out, that looks a very wise move. He travelled really well at Killarney and just got outstayed close home.
He ran in a very good maiden on his debut where he was down the field behind Magna Grecia. There would be nothing close to that calibre in here and he looks like he will be very hard to beat.