Elusive Rebeldom was a ready winner of a maiden hurdle just two weeks ago and can follow up in the Mullinahone Rated Novice Hurdle on this afternoon’s card in Clonmel.
Gordon Elliott’s runner had shown promise in previous outings but, fitted with a hood for the first time, stepped up to win this race with something to spare.
One of today’s rivals, Bal De Rio, was almost nine lengths behind him that day and, despite being 9lbs worse off on this occasion, Elusive Rebeldom should have little trouble confirming that form.
Oak Park, who is also trained by Gordon Elliott, was disappointing last time out but should bounce back to form in the Rosegreen Maiden Hurdle which gets the card underway.
Third on his hurdling debut, in December, he looked long odds-on to get off the mark until falling at the second-last on his next start, also at Punchestown.
He was pitched in very deep last time, in the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival and, despite still being a maiden, was quite well backed to have a say. For much of the trip it looked as though he might indeed play a role in the finish, but he faded quite quickly in the closing stages and finished a well-beaten fifth behind A Wave Of The Sea.
Today’s race represents a huge drop in class and, given the Punchestown race in which he fell when looking a winner was probably a slightly better race than today’s, he should prove far too good for the opposition.
Café Con Leche, with a mark of 113, sets the standard amongst his rivals and can give him most to think about.
The Derrygrath Maiden Hurdle doesn’t look the strongest of races but Ruinous showed more than enough on his track debut just over a fortnight ago to suggest a race of this nature would be within his range.
The five-year-old, who was reported to be coughing post-race, held every chance turning for home but wasn’t able to pick up quickly enough to pose a real threat to the main players. He is open to plenty of improvement and this looks a great opportunity to pick up a maiden.