Harvest Bow poised to go one better

Harvest Bow poised to go one better
Action from the opening day of the Killarney Festival as runners head up the home straight. Photo Healy Racing.

The next four days bring Killarney’s racing season to a close, and a good mixed programme gets the meeting under way. Harvest Bow will take beating in the Francie Sheehan’s Bar Killorglin 3-Y-O Hurdle, one of three national hunt races in the latter part of the card.

A winner on the flat on soft to heavy ground last year at Gowran Park, the Noel Meade-trained filly made her jumping debut in the first juvenile hurdle of the year, at Roscommon, and ran on strongly into second place behind Hereia. She could never quite get on terms with the winner that day but with the run under her belt, I expect more use will be made of her today.

The €50,000 Larkins Pub, Restaurant, B&B And Bakery Handicap Hurdle is the day’s feature and Wait Here can take this valuable prize for Austin Leahy and rising star Darragh O’Keeffe.

The six-year-old is without a win since December 2017 but he has been in good form recently, and ran a fine race last time out, at Galway, where he finished third behind Lucky Icon and Lever Du Soleil. The return to softer conditions will suit and, with just 9-06 to carry, everything is in place for a big run.

Duchess Ravenwaves should also go very well. She was an easy winner on the flat last time out at Tipperary and returns to this discipline off a mark of 110, which she should be more than capable of winning off. This is a competitive race, with obvious claims for the likes of Conron and Trainwreck, but she has just 9-04 to carry and that should ensure a big run.

The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden opens the card. It’s a race which Aidan O’Brien won in 2013, 2015 and 2017, and he should continue that every-other-year sequence by landing the spoils with Delta Dawn.

Two of those previous winners of the race went on to win Group 1s, while the other won at listed level and finished runner-up in the Ascot Gold Cup, which gives today’s two Ballydoyle representatives plenty to live up to.

When Delta Dawn was runner-up to stablemate Emperor Of The Sun at Galway, he showed improved form and can put his experience to good use today. Like O’Brien’s previous winners of the race, he looks to be laden with stamina and can use that to see off stable-companion Celtic High King, a third foal out of 1000 Guineas winner Homecoming Queen.

Queen Amidala can get off the mark in the Celtic Steps Maiden. Joe Murphy’s filly finished a length in front of one of today’s rivals, Time Tunnel, when they met at Galway, but she had a bad draw and had to be settled off the pace before coming through late to finish third behind Lancaster House. She is better drawn this time, has had fewer opportunities than Time Tunnel, and can confirm the form.

In Time Tunnel’s favour is the fact she went close over course and distance at the July meeting, and that form was shown in a good light when the winner, Tauran Shaman, followed up at Galway. Perhaps this track is more to his liking than is Ballybrit and another good run can be expected.

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