11 runners are set to go to post for the listed Edmund & Josie Whelan Memorial Listowel Stakes (16:37), the most valuable race on day three of the track’s Harvest Festival.
The Ger Lyons-trained Roca Roma (116) sets the standard according to Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings. Roca Roma showed borderline smart form when winning a handicap at Killarney in July and she shaped better than the bare result when filling the runner-up spot behind Pearls Galore in the Fairy Bridge Stakes at Fairyhouse last time, faring best of those held up. That form is working out well – Pearls Galore was last seen finishing second in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown – and the drop in grade here provides Roca Roma with a good opportunity to regain the winning thread. Lyons also has the ‘Hot Trainer’ Flag to denote that his yard is in rude health.
Finans Bay (113) has continued to progress since getting off the mark in a maiden at Leopardstown in August, producing his best effort yet when beaten just half a length into fourth in a handicap at the Curragh nine days ago. He arguably wasn’t seen to best effect on that occasion, either, doing his best work at the finish having been caught further back than ideal in a steadily-run affair. Still relatively unexposed, he has already achieved a smart level of form and looks sure to give another good account now back up in grade.
Adrian McGuinness, who also has the ‘Hot Trainer’ Flag, saddles a couple of interesting runners in the shape of Casanova (108) and Saltonstall (113). Casanova has a bit to find on these terms, but he clearly arrives here in top form after winning minor events at Galway and Punchestown on his last two starts, while Saltonstall also merits consideration if building on his latest effort in a handicap at the Curragh. He was beaten just a length and a quarter on that occasion and looked unlucky not to finish closer still after being forced to weave his way through in the final furlong. He has won at this level in the past and should mount a bold bid as he seeks his first win of 2021.
Timeform Analyst's Verdict:
Roca Roma didn't enjoy the rub of the green when second at Tipperary last time and is fancied to get back to winning ways for her in-form yard. Saltonstall arrives on a lengthy losing run but can't be ruled out on the back of his good Curragh effort, with Finans Bay another who warrants plenty of respect in an open listed contest.
Race Passes are the ultimate form guide, providing Timeform analysis, Flags and ratings for every runner in every race in Britain and Ireland. Subscribers have access to additional features that add extra levels of insight, including complete performance histories, an extensive form archive and unlimited use of horse, jockey and trainer searches.