The week long Listowel Festival kicks off this afternoon and we have three win selections for the opening day of the meeting.
"Cavite Beta looked a banker for a similar event when second to the rejuvenated Ballyadam Brook in a maiden chase at Killarney last month and appears to have been found a suitable opportunity to go one better here this afternoon".
Sky Pilot (15:20) has been in fine form on the Flat of late and if translating that improvement back into this sphere, he has an excellent chance of breaking his duck over hurdles. Joanna Morgan's runner was knocking on the door in maiden hurdles last season, in the frame all three starts, and returns to hurdling having enjoyed a productive spell on the level since, winning twice and placed 3 other times. The step up to 3m hold no fears and, with the Joanna Morgan team in good heart, he looks overpriced.
Cavite Beta (16:20) looked a banker for a similar event when second to the rejuvenated Ballyadam Brook in a maiden chase at Killarney last month and appears to have been found a suitable opportunity to go one better here this afternoon. At least as good as any of these rivals over timber, Cavita Beta jumped well in the main on his chasing bow and lost nothing in defeat to one that was decidedly useful over hurdles. There doesn't appear to be anything of that standard lurking this afternoon, so Jim Dreaper's charge looks a very worthy favourite.
The handicap at 16:50 is the feature event on day one of the festival and Torpichen is an interesting runner having caught the eye on his first start back with Edward O'Grady at Killarney last month. He may have finished thirteen lengths behind Kalellshan that day, but he was better than the result under a very patient ride and is a good deal better off with that rival at the weights today. Torpichen is entitled to strip fitter for that outing and should be much closer in the betting with that aforementioned rival than he currently is.
back Sky Pilot in the 15:20
back Cavite Beta in the 16:20
back Torpichen in the 16:50