Edmund & Josie Whelan Memorial Listowel Stakes (Listed) | 1m1f | 3yo+ | RTV & TG4
If any horse deserves a change of luck in a big prize this season it's Njord and he could be set to land a well-deserved success in Tuesday's Listowel feature.
Picked up for €54,000 out of Sheila Lavery's yard last October, the Jessica Harrington-trained four-year-old was just touched off in two premier handicaps at the Galway festival and got within a couple of lengths of Laughifuwant when fifth in the Irish Cambridgeshire last time.
Giving 5lb to younger rivals isn't ideal, but we know he's well able to shoulder a big weight from his handicap form this season and he appears pretty versatile in terms of ground.
Aidan O'Brien claimed this 1m1f event last year with the useful Lancaster House and Keats is his sole representative this time.
A rating of 103 makes him the highest-rated runner in the line-up and he shouldn't be judged too harshly for his latest effort in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF 'Northfields' Handicap on Longines Irish Champions Weekend when he did not get a clear run.
The Dermot Weld-trained Kassaba made a good impression when winning at Naas before claiming third in Listed company at Killarney when last seen ten weeks ago.
Provided she's sharp enough for this on her return, she rates a threat as an unexposed three-year-old with improvement to come.
Dalvey, trained by Denis Hogan, picked up Kentucky Derby qualification points when third in the rescheduled Ballysax Stakes at Dundalk and looks as though he belongs at this level.
Any market confidence behind him would be welcomed, arriving here after a 72-day layoff.
What they say
Jessica Harrington, trainer of Njord and Celestial Object
I hope we get the rain, there are five or six millimetres forecast, so hopefully they get that. It's not that Njord needs a bog or anything, he just needs to get his toe in. He's been in terrific form all season and it would be lovely if he could win a nice pot like this. Celestial Object has been second in a Group 3, so she deserves to take her chance. If the ground stayed like it is now, she'd have a great chance. The quicker the ground, the better chance she has.
Matthew Smith, trainer of Flaming Moon
He didn't run too badly at the Curragh. He just got caught in between horses up the rail and it had never really happened to him before. We'll need rain for him to run.
Fozzy Stack, trainer of Lady Wannabe and Too Soon To Panic
Lady Wannabe came out of the Matron in good shape and we're hoping for a good run from her. It would be great if we could get a bit of black type for Too Soon To Panic.
Dermot Weld, trainer of Kassaba
She's been very consistent, she has a good draw in stall one and I expect her to run a very big race.