THE Michael Winters-trained For Bill, who has never been beaten, is the nap choice to keep her tremendous record intact in the Kilsheelan Mares Novice Hurdle at Clonmel this afternoon.
The seven-year-old has won two point-to-points, three bumpers and once over flights, but this could well be her stiffest test to date.
After landing the third of her bumpers, beating subsequent easy winner Araucaria at Navan, the selection went off a warm order on this track on her debut over hurdles in December.
For Bill only scrambled home, beating Lady Roberta by half a length. You suspect, however, she may not have been at her very best that day and a break of 49 days may be just what was required.
The Kilcash Chase very much centres on Willie Mullins’ Glencove Marina, once touted as a possible Cheltenham Gold Cup candidate.
A high-class novice hurdler, Glencove Marina is unbeaten in two races over fences, but has been dogged by injury problems.
He made a winning start over fences at Navan in December of 2007 and followed in January of 2008 when slamming Finger Onthe Pulse by ten lengths at Leopardstown.
Finger Onthe Pulse’s next outing was at the Cheltenhem Festival, when he won the Jewson Handicap Chase.
Following Leopardstown, Glencove Marina wasn’t seen again until reappearing over flights when third to Footy Facts at Punchestown on New Year's Eve.
The indications then were that he retains a lot of his old ability and has to be the choice, until we know better!
There may be only five set to face the starter in the Listed Surehaul Mercedes Novice Hurdle, but it has a tricky appearance all the same.
The vote goes to Glenstal Abbey, who beat Quito De La Roque by an easy three and a half lengths at Navan and they meet on the same terms.
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