Progressive Oighear Dubh has sound claims

Oighear Dubh can land the nap in the John Lynch Memorial Maiden Hurdle at Listowel this afternoon.

Tony Martin’s horse failed to land a blow on his jumping debut at Galway, but ran with much more promise when finding only Time For Mabel too good at Ballinrobe last time out.

He was noted finishing with promise on the latter occasion, and is entitled to improve further for the experience. The half-brother to Pyromaniac and Artful Artist showed there that he can handle testing ground and, with a little improvement, will be very hard to beat.

Arguably the most interesting of his rivals is stable companion Sweet Company, who is having his first start for Martin.

The opening race on today’s card is a terrific-looking beginners’ chase, and marginal preference is for another Martin runner, Blair Perrone, over Gambling Girl and Sizing Codelco.

The selection is a very smart hurdler, and gained his two wins in that sphere on testing ground. Having his first run over fences this afternoon, he appeals as the type to take to this discipline, and can make a winning start.

Gambling Girl is every inch a chaser in the making and, following a runaway success on the Flat at Wexford recently, should be plenty fit enough to do herself justice.

She, too, was a useful sort over hurdles, but is likely to prove much better over fences. She’s respected.

Tomorrow’s action at Listowel gets underway at 12:15pm, and the nap goes to Tigris River, in the featured Lartigue Hurdle.

Although the Aidan O’Brien-trained gelding has to carry top weight, he has looked very impressive in victory on his last couple of starts, following a luckless debut at Roscommon, and it’s highly unlikely we’ve seen the best of him yet.

Although facing deeper ground than previously over timber, he’s by Montjeu, has decent Flat form on testing going, and can make his class count once more.

There’s a good Flat card at Gowran Park tomorrow, where Unyielding can get off the mark at the fourth time of asking by taking the Powerstown Stud Maiden for Jessica Harrington.

He almost made the breakthrough at the Curragh on his most recent start but, after travelling like the best horse for much of the journey and hitting the front two out, was nabbed on the line by a promising newcomer.

Today’s nine-and-a-half-furlong trip should prove ideal, he has a decent draw, the quicker conditions won’t be an issue, and he can land the spoils, chiefly at the expense of Spin Point.


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