Dundalk is the setting for a good quality eight-race card on Friday evening, featuring the Listed Mercury Stakes.

A host of smart performers line up for this year's renewal, none more so than 2010 Golden Jubilee and July Cup winner Starspangledbanner.

Following fertility issues at stud, the six-year-old has returned to training and his second to Maarek at the Curragh two starts ago suggests plenty of the old ability remains.

Last year's Mercury winner Nocturnal Affair warmed up with a good second to the reopposing Balmont Mast here three weeks ago and, given how much weight the two-years-olds receive from their elders, Zoola has to be given a chance following her fine second in an Ayr Listed event.

Racing begins with the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Race at 6.00 and big things are expected of Colour Of Love following her fine Listed third behind Katla and Maarek at the Curragh.

She is already proven over this trip but won't have things all her own way against Lily's Angel, the winner of a valuable handicap on her first start for Ger Lyons at Leopardstown.

The Foley's Antiques Naas Handicap offers a decent prize and dual course winner Russian Soul is sure to prove popular as he bids to register his fourth success in his last five starts, but there are plenty in with chances, not least Flic Flac, Muck 'N' Brass and Among Equals.

The Crowne Plaza Race & Stay Handicap sees recent course scorer Paddy The Celeb attempt to put back-to-back wins together, although Ansgar still looks feasibly handicapped and turned in his best effort to date when runner-up over this trip at the Curragh.

The action draws to a close with the second division of the Christmas Party Nights At Dundalk Handicap and Aidan O'Brien will be looking for a boost ahead of Saturday's Racing Post Trophy.

The master of Ballydoyle relies on Fairylike, who turned in a much improved effort when third here and has dropped to a good mark.