Sir OJ ready for Clonmel test

Sir Oj will face just three rivals as he bids for a Grade Two double in the Clonmel Oil Chase tomorrow.

Sir Oj will face just three rivals as he bids for a Grade Two double in the Clonmel Oil Chase tomorrow.

Noel Meade’s charge made the best possible start to the season when claiming the National Lottery Agent Champion Chase at Gowran Park last month.

Meade had initially suggested the Paddy Power Gold Cup would be a possible target for the nine-year-old but connections chose to bypass the Cheltenham event in favour of this two-and-a-half-mile contest.

“He is very well. He is in ripe good form,” said Meade.

“He’s in good shape, I’m very happy with him and it’s a nice bonus that there are only four runners.

“There is no point in taking him over to England for races like the Paddy Power where he will have to carry top weight.

“Unless something appears on those shores that will be running in the top handicaps with top weight, he will be staying in Ireland.

“There are plenty of nice races like this for him to go for and we’ll be happy enough if they are all small fields.”

Kill Devil Hill will be having his first start since turning in a disappointing performance when only third at Naas in February.

Paul Nolan’s charge had previously won the Drinmore Novice Chase as well as running well in two other Grade One events and the trainer felt he had his excuses.

“He just lost his way a little bit after the Drinmore last year. He scoped wrong and then picked up a bit of a bug that he just couldn’t shake off,” he explained.

“He seems back in good health now though and he has been working well but we don’t want to be too hard on him.

“It’s a small field but hopefully it will be just a nice first run for him. We won’t be hard on him as we just want to give him a confidence boost.

“We will see how it goes tomorrow and then decide where we go from there.”

The field is completed by Philip Fenton’s Sher Beau, who will be having his first start since April, and the Willie Mullins-trained Adamant Approach.

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Home Delivery


Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.


Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox