Tank can come through Drinmore test with flying colours

The Tullow Tank clears the last hurdle on his way to winning The Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown last year. Picture: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

There won’t be a dry eye in the house at Fairyhouse tomorrow if The Tullow Tank can land the Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase.

He used to be trained by the late Dessie Hughes, but is now in the care of his daughter, Sandra, and there could be no more popular winner.

This is a very hot contest, but there are solid reasons for believing that the six-year-old is well capable of doing the business.

A top class novice hurdler, he took to fences like a duck to water first time up at Punchestown earlier this month. The Tullow Tank jumped and travelled in style and hardly turned a hair in beating Mala Beach by five and a half lengths. This is a far stiffer test, but he is fancied to come through with flying colours.

Willie Mullins, in theory at least, throws triple French bumper winner, Allez Colombieres, in at the deep end on his debut over jumps in the Grade 1 Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle. But it’s a Grade 1 in name only, it’s hardly even a Grade 3, and if half as good as he is reputed to be should win cosily.

Take a chance on Lieutenant Colonel - he is far from favoured by the weights - making it a memorable day for Sandra Hughes in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle.

He was a costly failure when beaten by Sizing Granite over fences at Naas, but was always going to be vulnerable at two miles.

The five-year-old is a smart sort on his day and reverting to hurdles, over two and a half miles, might see him in a better light!

At Fairyhouse today, Ms Hughes can supply us with a winning nap in the shape of Sub Lieutenant in the first division of the Happy 80th Birthday Peter Donnelly Maiden Hurdle.

He was less than impressive when scrambling to victory over the modest Exxaro in a Thurles bumper last month, but quick ground that day was never going to play to his strengths.

The second section of the same contest can fall to Paul Nolan’s Fine Article, a very smart horse in bumpers, who proved a costly failure on his initial pop over jumps.

He was beaten a length and three parts into second by Killer Crow at Naas, when his jumping let him down. The hope is that this strapping sort will have learned from that.


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