Dalmatia will be tough nut to crack

The Eddie Harty-trained Dalmatia should prove tough to beat in the Kilsheelan Mares Maiden Hurdle on today’s rescheduled card in Clonmel.

A seven-race maiden when trained by Michael Stoute, this Cape Cross filly ran a cracker on her Irish debut at Leopardstown recently, when finishing third, beaten two and a half lengths, behind dead-heaters Gladiator King and Prince Of Scars.

Ridden then, as today, by Adrian Heskin, Dalmatia raced prominently and recovered from a mistake at the four last flight, sticking to her task well in the straight.

That was a hurdling debut full of promise. And she must have solid claims today, in receipt of 18lb from Willie McCreery’s What Lies Ahead, winner of a bumper and a flat maiden, and runner-up to Storm Away at Down Royal in her only start over hurdles.

Willie Mullins will saddle two Gigginstown-owned contenders for the Grade 3 Surehaul Mercedes Benz Novice Hurdle, Measureofmydreams and Roi Des Francs, both last-time-out winners in Thurles.

The owner’s retained rider Bryan Cooper has opted to ride Roi Des Francs with Ruby Walsh taking the ride on Measureofmydreams, which he rode to beat the Cooper-ridden odds-on favourite Milsean last time.

Both horses have solid claims in a competitive race, with Roi Des Francs chosen to confirm the good impression when successfully conceding 11lb. to Venitien De Mai.

Liz Doyle, whose stable star Le Vent D’Antan was killed at Leopardstown on Sunday, will saddle another obvious danger in Kauto Star’s half-brother Kauto Grand Mogul, successful over hurdles at Limerick and Thurles.

The Patsy O’Brien (Glenduff) Memorial Chase affords the Willie Mullins-trained Turban a good opportunity to register his first success since landing the Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase at Fairyhouse 13 months ago.

A faller twice since then and fifth to Noble Endeavor over hurdles at Punchestown last time, he’s rated 4lb above Baily Green on official figures and sets the standard.

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