Seven-race maiden Polar Bear should get off the mark in the Irish EBF Auction Series 2-Y-0 Maiden in Bellewstown.
Frankie Dettori, who caused such a stir on a visit to Crockafotha last year, when he won on the Johnny Murtagh-trained Trueba, will be back this evening to captain a team, which includes Jamie Spencer, Tom Queally, and Shane Kelly, in the inaugural Barney Curley Charity Cup, opposing a Willie Mullins-led team which includes Colin Keane, Wayne Lordan, Shane Foley, and Rachael Blackmore.
Both legs of the cup look ultra-competitive, although locally-trained veteran Geological is sure to run a big race for Blackmore in the first event.
But the five-furlong action offers better opportunities. And the Jessica Harrington-trained Polar Bear, officially rated 82, sets a decent standard in the two-year-old maiden.
This Kodi Bear colt has been on the go since early April, when he posted the first of five frame finishes when third to Crispy Cat at the Curragh.
He also filled third spot in a Curragh maiden won by Apache Outlaw in June and, more recently, failed by a neck to hold Silmaniya in a five-furlong premier nursery in Navan.
When last seen, Polar Bear finished fourth behind three British raiders, headed by Felix Natalis, in the recent, six-furlong Goffs Sportsman’s Challenge in Naas.
Dropping back to the minimum trip and against sporting a visor, Polar Bear’s time might have come, although local hope Escaping Thejungle, fourth to Executive Decision in Navan, is a definite threat.
In the Colm Quinn BMW Handicap, Gillian Scott’s Inventor makes plenty of appeal following a win in Sligo, off an 8lb lower mark, and a close second to Harry’s Hill at Tipperary.
The mount of Billy Lee, he meets Harry’s Hill on 14lb better terms today, for a short-head defeat, and should be tough to beat.
The 78-rated, Joseph O’Brien-trained filly River Rain looks the one to beat in the later Johnny Kierans Memorial Maiden.
Third to Kiss Me Later at the Curragh in May, this Fastnet Rock filly has losses to recoup, having been a beaten favourite on her last three starts, all over Wednesday’s trip, a mile and a half.
River Rain has been staying on late on each occasion, when a close fourth to Willamette Valley in Galway and when filling the runner-up berth behind Alaroos in Tramore and, last time, the potentially useful Sidiriya, back at Galway.
This Carriganog filly is no star, but she looks more than capable of winning a maiden of this standard.
2.00 James Henry
3.45 Polar Bear (Nap)
4.55 River Rain (NB)
5.25 Arctic Blaze
2.00 Sweeping Statement
2.35 The Bog Bank
3.45 Escaping Thejungle
4.20 Blind Beggar