Arvico Bleu can make all in Thurles opener

Trust Arvico Bleu to put his experience to good use in the Templemore Beginners Chase, which opens today’s seven-race card in Thurles.

Although rated significantly inferior to chief rival Ex Patriot over hurdles, Henry de Bromhead’s charge has already produced some rock-solid efforts over fences and, in the frame in each of his five outings over the bigger obstacles, should be tough to beat.

A forward-going seven-year-old, he looked a winner on the run-in before being collared late by Punches Cross and Quamino in a Naas handicap last time, form boosted when the runner-up landed a Grade B pot at Leopardstown over the weekend.

Arvico Bleu had chased home Duca De Thaix in the €100,000 Dan Moore at Fairyhouse in his previous start while his form in beginners’ events included a creditable second to subsequent dual Grade 1 winner and Arkle favourite Le Richebourg at Listowel back in September.

Likely to make the running and a good jumper, Arvico Bleu and Rachael Blackmore should prove hard to catch. His experience might give him the edge over Ex Patriot, a good fourth to Cilaos Emery at Gowran Park on his second effort over fences, and Gordon Elliott’s chasing debutant Stooshie.

The Willie Mullins-trained Karl Der Grosse might prove the solution in the featured Horse & Jockey rated Novice Hurdle.

The French-bred, was placed in his only start for Emmanuel Clayeux in his native land and made a successful start for Closutton when coasting to victory in a maiden hurdle in Tramore last August, when sent off 8/15 favourite.

Significantly, the Jukebox Jury gelding started favourite for a rated novice, similar to today’s, at Galway in October but, having held every chance turning for home, he had to settle for third spot behind stable-companion Dorrells Pierji and Petit Tartare, which re-opposes today. Now a five-year-old, Karl Der Grosse is open to plenty of improvement and, having only his fourth start, might turn the tables on Petit Tartare and outpoint top-weight Getaway John, which must concede weight to his six rivals.


More on this topic

Killultagh Vic looks poised to run a big race

Don’t rely too heavily on Mullins at the Festival

Why is Ireland so unconcerned about jiggery pokery in sport?

Never-say-die attitude serving McGrath well in injury-hit career

More in this Section

Brighton boss Hughton welcomes ‘distraction’ from Premier League

Andy Farrell feels Ireland will continue to have a bright future when he takes charge

Blow for Wales as Leigh Halfpenny is overlooked by Scarlets

Ferrari are hoping they have raised the bar with their 2019 F1 car


Lifestyle

Away with red tape!

Review: Post Malone in Dublin - Not music to change your life but tremendous fun

Review: Ariana Grande - Thank U, Next is a rollercoaster you’ll want to stay with

Travel digest with Barry Coughlan

More From The Irish Examiner