The Stewards have had their moments at the Listowel Harvest Festival this week, and they were called into action in the opener on Thursday when the first three home were pretty much up close and personal in the closing stages.
After prolonged deliberations they allowed the result to stand, and Joseph O’Brien’s Arcturus 3/1 kept the race after beating Sacchoandvanzetti – I’d say the course commentator loves that one! – and Refulgence Star by a half length and a short head.
Promising 7 lbs. claimer Shane Crosse took advantage of a dream run up the far rail, and the runner up – sent off the 9/4 jolly – deserves great credit having finished third here the day before.
Jim Bolger runners are invariably tough nuts, yet for a juvenile to make such a quick reappearance on this terrible ground and run so well was a really decent effort.
While followers of our Irish Racing Service have thrived at this Harvest Festival, at the track the bookies have had a dream time of it, and the Fozzy Stack trained Shifted Strategy landing the mile handicap at 16/1 added to their glee.
Again another classy 7 lbs. claimer – Killian Hennessy – did the steering and it was a gutsy win from a poor draw.
By Choisir the winner should cope with better ground but this was a moderate enough contest and Fozzy won’t be getting carried away.
Curragh based trainer Michael O’Callaghan has his roots in Tralee which is quite near Listowel and the locals were happy when Leigh Roche poached the mile maiden from the front on well supported 7/2 fancy Quinns Red Rose.
Her one bad run came when stepped up to ten furlongs at Ballinrobe in her previous contest, and this race certainly provided ample proof that a mile is her limit.
Tony Martin has been having a quiet time of it in recent years but there have been signs of a return to form lately and easy to back 8/1 shot Mr Everest – who had been running well over hurdles – took the mile and six handicap under equally versatile jockey Robbie Colgan.
Mixed fortunes in the betting ring in the next few races but punters really thought they had the petrol money when 2/1 jolly Great Trango seemed to have shaken off all opposition in the last.
Yet just as they were about to go down the steps of the stands to collect their winnings, Mark Walsh swooped very late on 25/1 shot Vent De La Cote.
Further joy for the bookies and the gloomy conditions matched the mood of the betting ring players as they made a beeline for the car parks.
WHAT A HARVEST! Fleeting was a 12/1 diamond from Declan’s Irish Racing Service this week while he repeatedly struck gold at the Listowel Harvest Festival – Humm Baby 9/1 (won 5/1); Burning Question 8/1 (w 11/2); Stormy Belle 7/1 (w 5/1); Quinns Red Rose 6/1 (w 7/2);Time Queen 5/1 (w 9/4); Astronomer 2/1 and Chief Justice 5/4 (w 10/11).
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