Listowel’s week-long Harvest Festival continues on Wednesday with the Grade 3 Guinness Kerry National Handicap Chase the feature race at 4.25.
Joseph O’Brien bagged a winner on the flat at the Kerry track yesterday and the trainer will be seeking a third consecutive win in the big race with Aintree Grand National ninth A Wave Of The Sea his sole representative in this year’s contest.
Since his pleasing effort in Liverpool, A Wave Of The Sea has posted two excellent fourth-placed efforts in the Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary and more recently the Galway Plate which means this JP McManus-owned seven-year-old shouldn’t be overlooked at roughly 12/1 in the betting.
Another runner who took part in the Aintree showpiece in April was Ain’t That A Shame, who faded badly three from home in the Grand National, but prior to that, the Henry De Bromhead trained nine-year-old had put together some excellent runs in some big handicaps, including the Munster National and the Paddy Power Chase. As a result, Ain’t That A Shame heads the betting for today’s contest.
While this 18-runner race is far tougher than anything Salvador Ziggy has contested so far over fences, his unbeaten record of 3/3 makes for impressive reading as does his runners-up finish in the Pertemps final at this year’s Cheltenham Festival. Albeit over hurdles, it may suggest Gordon Elliott‘s charge can handle a more congested field today.
Speaking of Cheltenham, Gevrey was fourth in the Plate at Prestbury Park and also second in the Irish National, and having had a tune-up over hurdles recently he could be ready to lay down another big challenge for Elliott, who has a strong hand which also contains last season’s Leopardstown Chase winner and Ultima fourth, The Goffer, last years Midlands National winner, Hurricane Georgie, this season’s Galway Plate hero, Ash Tree Meadow, Mayo National winner, Tullybeg, and Chemical Energy who won at this festival last year.
Gordon last won this race back in 2017 with Potters Point but it would appear the Meath handler holds all the aces going into this year’s renewal.