It could pay to give Rathlin one final chance

TAKE a chance on Rathlin in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Beginners Chase at Thurles this afternoon.

There is little doubt his two outings so far over fences have been a trifle disappointing, but it just might pay to give him one final chance.

He made no show first time up at Punchestown, but there was a measure of improvement on this track a week ago.

Mouse Morris’ charge, in the end, proved no match for Willie Mullins’ Popcorn, but time may well reveal there was no disgrace in that.

It is Mullins again who offers the principal danger in the shape of Bishopsfurze, who is certainly much more of a horse for the future than the selection.

But he was a modest jumper of hurdles, even though a particularly smart performer, and it remains to be seen how he will take to fences.

The most interesting contest of the day has to be the Rock Of Cashel Hurdle, which brings together Mullins’ Zaidpour and Oscar Time.

The latter is having his first outing since finishing second in the Grand National at Aintree in April behind Ballabriggs. He’s useful over flights as well and has to be respected. Preference, however, is for Zaidpour, who never quite lived up to what was expected as last season progressed, but still has solid form in the context of this contest.

Tom Foley’s Hair Oil Jimmy is the hopeful choice in the Holycross Maiden Hurdle. He was flattered when beaten three lengths into second by Reizovic at Naas, but that still gives him a real life in a modest heat.

Jessica Harrington’s Chaperoned is given the benefit of the doubt in the Thurles Mares’ Maiden Hurdle.

She has easily the best form, but ran way below par last time when a remote sixth behind Jacksonslady at Punchestown. Chaperoned pulled off a shoe in running then and, perhaps, that might be a possible explanation.

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