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Listowel preview

Updated: Friday, 20 Sep 2013 20:26 | Comments

Willie Mullins will send Rockyaboya to Listowel with high hopes
Willie Mullins will send Rockyaboya to Listowel with high hopes

There are almost 140 runners for punters to scrutinise on the final day of the Listowel Festival on Saturday, and plenty will come down on the side of Rockyaboya in the M.J. Carroll ARRO Handicap Hurdle.

Willie Mullins' nine-year-old has been raised 1lb for his last-start Sligo second, but remains well treated compared to his chasing figure and this two-and-a-half-mile trip would appear to be his optimum.

Hospital and Paudi The Punter arrive on the back of victories and lurk dangerously near the foot of the weights, while The Crafty Butcher hasn't been seen since finishing fourth when fancied at Cork in May but returns on the same rating.

His stablemate Run With The Wind made a satisfactory return to fences when third at Killarney but will do well to get the better of an interesting newcomer to the sphere in the shape of Henry de Bromhead's Elegant Statesman in the opening Allman Contracts Limited Beginners Chase (1.55).

Mullins snapped up Shamsikhan for 62,000 euros after he scored at Dieppe in the summer of last year and he begins his Irish career in the John Lynch Memorial Maiden Hurdle, where smart Flat recruit Chicago is among the opposition.

Benefficient may attempt to break into the big time in the two-mile chasing division this season and Tony Martin gets a pipeopener into last season's Irish Arkle hero in the Listowel Races Supporters Club Slan Abhaile (QR) Race.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Marchese Marconi heads the weights, and the Ballydoyle maestro is also represented by Wexford runner-up Angel Chorus in the Ballygrennane Mares INH Flat Race.

Ted Dolly was out of his depth in the Galway event won by Rebel Fitz but faces a more realistic assignment in the Charlie Chute Memorial Handicap Chase, while Emperor Concerto tries to capitalise on a lenient fencing mark on his second start for Gordon Elliott in the Clieveragh Handicap Chase.

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