3.10pm Listowel Tips & Betting Preview 04/06/2017

A big field over the seven furlong trip here in a competitive looking handicap for three year olds. We have a runner by runner guide and our expert tip below.

IN SUMMARY: Sadly our original tip Betty Loch is now a non runner. Althiba and A Little Bit Me are both likely to be popular but both have questions to answer about this trip. Andrew Slattery finally got his first winner of the season last week and his COMHGHAIRDEAS has been well supported and looks an excellent each way bet.

1 COMHGHAIRDEAS – Runner up three times in four runs as a juvenile on very soft ground. Gelded over the winter, he has shown very little in a pair of starts so far this season, but the yard have made a very slow start to the season. Just a single winner so far from 46 runners but that came in the shape of Creggs Pipes last week so perhaps they are finally about to his their stride, the market will be the best guide to his chances.

2 BETTY LOCH – Just the bare three runs for a handicap mark so far for Mick Halford’s charge, the best of them coming last time when only nailed in the last few strides by Constant Comment at Naas. That was her first go at this trip and now on a slightly sharper track, she should be far more streetwise. Constant Comment has followed up since in a handicap off a mark of 80, just a neck separated the pair at Naas so an opening gambit of 75 looks rather generous for Betty Loch and makes her a clear pick despite a wider than ideal draw.

3 MR ADJUDICATOR – Won at this track as a juvenile over this trip and recent runs, despite not being quite up to that level, suggest that a mark of 74 will be workable. He sports first time cheek pieces now in a bit to sharpen up his focus, with a drop back down a furlong in trip from a mile also looking a positive move. The headgear will have to make a fair difference to see him home in front but he has each way claims.

4 DANDYS GOLD – Broke her duck at the eighth time of asking in a Limerick maiden over this trip last time. The handicapper clearly felt she did no more than run to the mark already assigned to her, leaving her unchanged on 73. She was placed off 76 at Gowran last summer so chances are that it is on the lenient side and she is well respected despite being another in a draw wider than ideal.

5 SLANEY STREET – Tried over a mile and a quarter on both starts in 2017, having needed all of the mile at Dundalk to get his head in front to break his maiden just before Christmas. Showed enough in maidens on turf last year to think that a mark of 73 is at least workable but he doesn’t appear to be progressing and may find one or two of these able to improve past him.

6 DESERT DANCER – The form she showed when placed in a pair of maidens on the sand at Dundalk is a long way ahead of either of the efforts she produced on grass last summer. She would appear to be up to winning a handicap from this mark on the all weather but questions remain for now on her ability to handle turf in the same manner so is best watched on her first start of the season.

7 ALTHIBA – Third in a better race than this on her seasonal debut at Leopardstown, staying on well all the way to the line, she was very disappointing when stepped up to a mile and a quarter last time. Connections bring her back to seven furlongs and off the same mark as Leopardstown, she would have a solid chance, providing this track isn’t too much of a speed test for her.

8 OAKLEDGE – Started his career in promising fashion, placed in a pair of five furlong maidens at Dundalk and Navan but, the wheels have fallen off the wagon in some style in three starts since. The first of those is easy enough to excuse in a big sales race at The Curragh but his two runs back at Dundalk last year were very disappointing. On his first two runs, he is very attractively handicapped but perhaps a drop in trip, back to sprinting, is the answer to help him rediscover his form.

9 KEEP BELIEVING – Made a quick start to 2017, notching up wins over a mile at Gowran and Navan before the end of April. He got a little buzzed up before his latest start when disappointing at Cork. He is entitled to another chance but perhaps is best worth watching in the preliminaries to make sure that he is calmer before parting with any cash.

10 TWIST OF MAGIC – Won when fitted with a first time eye-shield off a mark of 67 at Down Royal last September. She took advantage of a low draw on that occasion and from stall 2, has a great berth if connections wish to take this contest by the scruff of the neck as well. She was outpaced on her 2017 debut, when run over five furlongs but that should have blown away the cobwebs and she is an interesting each way proposition.

11 DINKY INTY – Placed off a mark two pounds higher to kick off 2017, she never looked like getting involved on the all weather at Dundalk when last seen. She won twice last September, including off a mark a pound higher than she is running off here so she is plausibly treated for all that she needs to step up on what she has done since.

12 A LITTLE BIT ME – Never looked threatening in three maidens last year but, with a winter on her back and moved into handicaps, 2017 has been a happier hunting ground. First time blinkers made a huge difference when scoring over six furlongs at Cork, not helped by the step back down in trip to five furlongs when fourth at the same track last time. She looks a sure fire future winner off this mark but the step back up in trip to the distance she ran her worst race over is a slight question mark.

13 HAPPY COMPANY – Produced a much improved effort when entering handicap company when fourth at Fairyhouse on Thursday. That was a career best by quite a margin and off the same mark here, he needs to be respected. That was his first run of 2017 and such a quick turnaround is a little bit of a concern.

14 FAST KAR – A winner on very soft ground when trained in France as a juvenile, that is the sole win of her nineteen race career. She is far more exposed than the rest of the field, running poorly in the main over trips from five furlongs to a mile since moving to Ireland and is hard to fancy.

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