Today's Tips: Sir Des Champs can defy near 700-day lay-off at Thurles

Former Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Sir Des Champs is the star attraction on today’s card at Thurles and, if the Willie Mullins-trained nine-year-old is within a stone and a half of his best form of two years ago, he should make a winning return in the listed Boomerang Horse & Country Store Chase.
Today's Tips: Sir Des Champs can defy near 700-day lay-off at Thurles

Although out of action for nearly 700 days since the Lexus Chase of 2013, three of his five rivals are returning from absences of more than 200 days, and not guaranteed to be fully wound-up.

On a day when the market will speak volumes, Sir Des Champs must be the choice, though a watching brief may be the best option.

Similarly, Mullins’ Moyle Park hasn’t been seen in racecourse actions for almost 700 days, but has been found a very good opportunity for his reintroduction, in the Beginners’ Chase.

The Flemensfirth gelding, purchased at Brightwells Sales at Cheltenham for £250,000 (€358,000), made an immediate impact for his new stable, winning a bumper at Punchestown.

He returned in late 2013 to make a successful start over hurdles but has been off the track since finishing third behind The Tullow Tank in the Grade One Future Champions’ Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown a month later.

Starting off over fences this afternoon, if the seven-year-old has retained the ability he showed two years ago he’ll take a world of beating. Again, the market could be the best guide.

Should he fail to live up to expectation, useful staying hurdler Ttebbob could be the one to land the spoils.

He may prefer a longer trip, but the Jessica Harrington stable is in great form, and he must be respected.

The nap goes to Micras, who can take the Horse & Jockey Handicap Hurdle for Pat Fahy. The four-year-old filly ran a fine race in defeat last time out, at Clonmel, where she was noted staying on into fourth place behind Manuka.

As that was just her second outing for Fahy, and first over hurdles for her new stable, there ought to be more to come.

There is a slight concern she may be better on quicker conditions, but the daughter of Medicean showed more than enough to suggest she’s well handicapped, and that, allied to the fact Ruby Walsh is in the plate, goes a long way to negating ground concerns.

Rated 85 on the Flat in Britain as recently as May, she currently holds a mark of 84 over hurdles, and the evidence of her Clonmel run suggests that’s readily exploitable. If she doesn’t get stuck in the mud, she’ll take a world of beating in what looks a modest race.

Fulham Road is likely to prove popular in the bumper. A faller on his only start in point to points, he was well-touted last season but never managed to reach the track.

From the stable of Willie Mullins, which hit form with a vengeance yesterday afternoon at Fairyhouse, he’s likely to take plenty of beating.

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