Archie Meade looks the best bet on another tricky card at Listowel. The ten-year-old is a long-standing maiden over fences, but still qualifies for a beginners’ chase and can make the most of his experience to get off the mark in what looks a winnable contest.
The son of Beneficial should have little trouble with the testing going, and a reproduction of any of his last three efforts over fences should be good enough to account for today’s rivals.
Trained by Danny Howard, he finished fourth behind Owega Star in this race in 2013, but there is no comparison between the renewals. With a clear round of jumping, he should earn that belated first success in this sphere.
The obvious danger is Marvellous Moment, who looks the type to make his mark over fences. He has shown he can perform off a long break, shouldn’t have too much trouble with the conditions, and should be heavily involved.
Dollar And A Dream catches the eye off bottom weight in the Ladbrokes Island Handicap Hurdle. The Tony Martin-trained six-year-old was a very easy winner of a handicap on similarly testing ground at Galway, and doesn’t look overburdened by an 8lb rise.
Philip Enright steps in to take the mount and, in a race in which a number of the runners may struggle with the conditions, he has a clear chance to follow up. Top-weight Draco may prefer quicker conditions, but deserves plenty of respect and can follow the selection home.
Catalaunian Fields made the breakthrough in a modest maiden hurdle at Bellewstown last time out, and is taken to follow up in the Devon Inn Hotel Handicap Hurdle over three miles.
The step up to this trip, at Bellewstown, seemed to bring about improvement, and the race, though modest, was given a degree of a boost when the runner-up, Diva Dawn, won next time at Galway.
Completely unexposed, the selection has the scope to develop into a useful sort, and is taken to account for a decent field, headed by Slygufftou, who is seeking a four-timer.
Only four runners contest the bumper and, while conditions will not be in his favour, it’s difficult to oppose Fugi Mountain. The Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old coped quite well with soft conditions at Galway, when supplementing his Sligo success, though the form of the race took a hit when runner-up Thumb Stone Blues was beaten next time.
However, the feeling remains he’s a high-class sort in the making and, despite today’s ground, can successfully concede weight to three previous winners.
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