Thurles on a Thursday conjures up images of national hunt racing in the depths of winter, but the ground is expected to ride on the fast side this afternoon and that should suit Miss Dinamic, who can take the opener for the in-form stable of Gordon Elliott.
The mare has been consistent all season, and ran the race of her career to date when third behind stable companion The Game Changer in a Grade 3 at Punchestown just last week. The winner was in a league of his own, but a mistake at the second-last cost Miss Dinamic her chance of taking the runner-up spot. That level of form stands out against today’s opposition, and a clear round of jumping should suffice.
The danger is likely to come from Jesmond Lodge, who had all still to play for when falling at the last in a race won by Perfect Woman. As a four-year-old, she receives all the allowances, but may not get it her own way up front.
Teoleena could represent some value in the Thurles Handicap Hurdle, over two miles. Noel Dooly’s filly has just two wins to her name, both on the flat and both on good-to-firm ground, the same as is expected today. What’s most encouraging is that she looked back to form when an unlucky fourth behind Give Her Bach las time out, at Tramore.
As a four-year-old, there should be further improvement to come and, under ideal conditions – strong pace, fast ground – can make the most of a good opportunity to get off the mark over timber. Pleased As Punch and The Conker Club are both respected.
Another horse which will really appreciate conditions is Celestial Prospect, and he can land the two-mile-six beginners’ chase for Martin Brassil.
Although a long way behind today’s likely favourite, Georges Conn, when they met at Tipperary recently, he doesn’t seem to act on anything other than quick ground and, thus, that run is easily forgiven.
It was also his first outing for some four months, and he’s entitled to be better for it. In two previous outings over fences he showed real promise, and was rated marginally higher over hurdles than Georges Conn. With so little to separate them, the ground is likely to be the deciding factor and, so long as it remains fast, Celestial Prospect is worth siding with.
The Premier County Hurdle is the feature on the card, and the conditions of the race favour Ted Veale. If he stays the two-mile-six trip he will be very hard to beat, but that’s an unknown and thus preference can only be marginal.
Vic Approach, so impressive over fences last time out, can take advantage of a hurdling mark 25lbs lower in the Leugh Handicap Hurdle. Davy Fitzgerald’s horse also ran well on his last outing over timber, finishing fifth in a race which has worked out quite well. With the talented David Mullins in the plate once more, he should take beating.
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