Sloan family double up in National bid
The Sloan family from Templepatrick have two classy contenders in the showpiece Guinness Kerry National at Listowel, with Shadow Catcher and Realt Mor going for glory.
Both are trained by Gordon Elliott who fields no less than a third of the runners - six horses - in today's £150,000 Listowel Harvest Festival highlight.
Elliott's team is headed by his Galway Plate winner Lord Scoundrel, who will again be partnered by 5lb claimer Donagh Meyler, as well as fifth-placed Clarcam and sixth-placed Shadow Catcher.
"With such good prize-money, we have to support these races. Since Galway, Lord Scoundrel has been good and the track at Listowel could be suitable for Clarcam as he didn't get home at Galway," said Elliott.
"Shadow Catcher's owner (Pat Sloan) has been a great supporter of mine since I started and, bar a few little mistakes, he might have finished a bit closer than sixth. He has been bouncing since Galway and a light weight is a big help to a horse like him."
Shadow Catcher will be ridden by Kevin Sexton, while Realt Mor has Luke Dempsey in the saddle.
Like Elliott, Gigginstown House Stud also have a sextet of runners, and they combine with four of them, including Killer Crow (Jack Kennedy) and Wrath Of Titans (Lisa O'Neill).
"I made no secret of the fact that I fancied Killer Crow for the Plate, but he never really got into the race. Since then he's run well over hurdles and he has a lovely weight on his back," said Elliott.
"Three miles around Listowel will be ideal for him and there is a big day in this lad over fences. He is jumping much better now as we've done a good bit of schooling with him since Galway."
Unusually for a race of this nature, leading owner JP McManus is without representation, so the hopes of County Limerick will rest principally with the Paddy Neville-trained pair of Shesaportrait (Mark Enright) and Rightville Boy (Ryan Treacy).
Last year's hero of the hour Rogue Angel does not run, but his trainer Mouse Morris still has a chance of getting to the number one spot again through First Lieutenant (Ger Fox) and Folsom Blue, who is the choice of Gigginstown's number one rider Bryan Cooper.
Katie Walsh is again on the 2014 winner, Your Busy, while her brother Ruby rides Ballycasey, who is Willie Mullins' sole contender.
Ian Williams bids to bring the prize back to Britain for the third time, following on from Ace Of Spies in 1991 and Mac's Supreme in 2000.
Tom Scudamore will travel over to team-up with Williams' Gas Line Boy. "The track will suit and he has been running well over here," said Williams.
Katie Walsh was the big-name winner at yesterday's annual Laytown meeting - just north of Dublin - the only fixture in Great Britain and Ireland to be held on a beach. Walsh won the O'Neills Sports Handicap on board 8-1 shot Korbous.