Arvika Ligeonniere can make winning return

Arvika Ligeonniere can land a cracking renewal of the Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase at Clonmel this afternoon.

This will be his first outing in 203 days, but Willie Mullins has his horses in fine shape and it is also an obvious plus that the selection goes particularly well fresh.

For instance, he was returning from a long break when taking a beginners chase at Punchestown in May of last year and then wasn’t seen again until reappearing in the Grade 1 Drinmore Chase at Fairyhouse in early December.

That was arguably Arvika Ligeonniere’s finest hour, as he turned in a spectacular display of jumping and front running to slam Dedigout by 11 lengths.

The eight-year-old’s latest outing came at the Punchestown festival in April, producing a fine performance to beat Oscars Well by nine and a half lengths in another Grade 1.

He is at his best when travelling right-handed and is the nap choice to cope with smart rivals in Rubi Light and Texas Jack.

Eric McNamara’s Questions Answered, who landed some decent wagers at Limerick last Sunday, makes a quick return in the Clonmel Oil Service Station Handicap Hurdle and can go in again.

The Limerick contest was over two miles and five, with Questions Answered just doing enough to beat Courage by half a length.

He certainly gave the impression there might well be better to come and runs now under a mandatory 4lbs penalty.

The handicapper doesn’t think he has a whole lot in hand, however, with Questions Answered only going up by 6lbs in the future.

It will be interesting to see whether the handicapper is right, considering McNamara’s gelding competes now off a mark 18lbs below his current rating over fences.

The INH Stallion Owners’ EBF Maiden Hurdle can go to Willie Mullins’ Unic de Bersy.

The former point-to-point winner got off to the ideal start on the racecourse at Tipperary in May, landing a bumper, and, hopefully, the market will speak in his favour.


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