Benbulben set to recoup recent losses

MOUNT BENBULBEN can recoup recent losses in the Cashel Maiden Hurdle at Thurles this afternoon.

He was a particularly smart bumper horse when trained by Gillian Callaghan, scoring twice, and was then bought by Barry Connell and transferred to Gordon Elliott.

The six-year-old made his debut over jumps, and having his initial outing for Elliott at Galway last month, went off a well-backed 5-4 favourite.

He was, however, very free throughout the contest and simply wouldn’t settle for today’s pilot, Paul Carberry.

The selection was, though, absolutely tanking heading down to the second last when clipping heels and sending Carberry spinning to the turf, contest won by Letter Of Credit.

Mount Benbulben’s connection will surely allow him to stride along on this occasion, if needs be, and he remains an exciting talent.

Feature even is the Listed John Meaghar Memorial Chase and this has a fascinating appearance.

The form book is always a useful tool, but one suspects the market may be an even better guide to the puzzle.

From this distance the nod falls on Willie Mullins’ Cooldine who, because he hasn’t managed a win after November 1, 2009, gets all of the allowances.

The downside, of course, is that he has obviously had problems and only ran twice last season.

He began with a promising effort when fifth to Tranquil Sea in the John Durkan at Fairyhouse, but was then most disappointing subsequently in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown at Christmas, pulled up behind Pandorama.

Cooldine has between 9lbs and 20lbs in hand of his four rivals and, hopefully, the market will speak favourably of him.

Mullins’ once-raced Morning Royalty can provide the solution to the Bumper, having finished five lengths second behind King Vuvuzela at the Punchestown festival in early May. The form received a timely boost when the fifth, Don Cossack, bolted in at Naas last Saturday.

The worry now for Morning Royalty is that today’s surface will be entirely different to that at Punchestown. Morning Royalty is, however, a half-brother the smart mare, Morning Supreme, and she was at her best on heavy ground.

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