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Horse Racing: Listener in with a shout.

Byline: LARRY LYNX on the Irish turf

THE LISTENER should be switched on for top honours at Punchestown.

Victory in the John Durkan Memorial Chase would be a welcome tonic for the grey's trainer Robert Alner, who was severely injured in a car crash last month.

The Listener is best served by today's testing ground, conditions in which he prevailed last season beating Beef Or Salmon by eight lengths in the valuable Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.

Alner's assistant Nick Mitchell reports the eight-year-old in fine fettle: "He's in good form and showing no ill effects from his mishap at Down Royal last month."

The Listener (2.05) made an early exit in that, his seasonal debut, after jumping the third fence and unseating his rider in the Grade One race won by Taranis.

Noel Meade thinks a great deal of Chateau D'Eau (1.05), who looks the pick of the well contested Novice Hurdle.

The four-year-old has won both his bumpers in fine style and is sure to have been well schooled over hurdles.

Meade could also hit the target with Mr Robert (2.35). The six-year-old won with much more in hand than the official two lengths suggests when beating Monty Mint at Cork in October.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Dec 9, 2007
Words:207
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