Back to the Flat today at Listowel and Joseph O’Brien, who took Tuesday’s feature with Visualisation, can get off to a winning start with Bienvenue, in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden.
The Fascinating Rock filly made her debut in the sales race on Champions Weekend and was noted making significant late progress into fourth place behind King X J. As is customary with O’Brien’s debutants, we can expect significant progress and the step up to a mile, from six and a half furlongs, will also be a help.
She can take this at the expense of Queens Command, who stepped up on her debut when sixth to Trevaunance in a Cork maiden, and French Claim, a debutant from the Paddy Twomey yard.
Dermot Weld was on the mark here on Tuesday, and can add another this afternoon with Empyrea, who, coincidentally, is related to Bienvenue. She contests the Behan’s Horseshoe Bar, Restaurant & Townhouse Maiden and, while unproven over the 12-furlong trip, she gives the impression she will improve for it.
Unmapped on her debut, in a maiden in mid-February at Dundalk, she was considerably more promising on her recent turf debut in which she finished third behind Safari Quest, with one of today’s rivals, Rekero, a place and three quarters of a place in front of her.
Out the back early on the latter occasion, she ran into traffic problems along the way but made significant late progress and was certainly better than the bare result might suggest. On that evidence, she could improve past Rekero and, that being so, she will go close.
Bumper winners Merlin Giant and Dani California are worth considering in a maiden from which, incidentally, last year’s winner, Druid’s Altar, is now a 142-rated chaser.
Galactic Grey can get off the mark at the eighth time of asking when contesting the Thorn Plant Hire Handicap. The four-year-old caught the eye finishing fifth in a seven-furlong handicap at the June meeting at this venue, when having his first run for almost two years. He followed up by finishing a close second behind Big Island at Tipperary and, clearly improving and well-drawn this time, he will be hard to beat.
The feature on the card is the valuable Listowel Printing Works Premier Handicap and the Joe Murphy-trained Sionnach Eile makes each-way appeal in a competitive race.
Winner of a maiden at Sligo in May, he was well beaten at the Galway festival but ran better when fourth behind Phoenix Cowboy, who reopposes.
Eleven pounds better off with that rival and more suited to the softer conditions, he can reverse that form.
1:40 Bienvenue (nap)
2:15 Galactic Grey (nb)
2:50 Powerful Don
3:25 Rock Etoile
4:00 Lord Park
4:35 Sionnach Eile
5:40 Majestic Jewel
1:40 Queens Command
2:50 Prince Hector
4:00 Very Excellent
4:35 Cecelia Clementine
5:10 Merlin Giant
5:40 Sea Appeal