It’s been a very cold weekend so far and we’ll be hoping that doesn’t effect the ground too badly at Thurles today. We hope to send 9 horses down today. We will also be sending 4 horses to Ayr for their card.
For the first race, an auction maiden we have PART TIME AFFAIR, who had his first taste off hurdling last time out. it wasn’t the best debut having made a few bad blunders. He has been schooling well since then and takes another crack at it.
The next race is a novice hurdle where we have 2 of the 7 runners. Last time out winner RUN WILD FRED will enjoy the test of stamina this race will offer and will want every yard of this trip. Our over runner FESTIVAL D’EX seems to be going from strength to strength in his racing. This will be his first time stepping up in trip, but he finishes his races well which leads us to think he should enjoy the step up.
TEXARD returns for the Matty Ryan Memorial Handicap Hurdle to face 7 other runners. He broke his maiden in fine style last time and we hope the penny has dropped for him. Daryl Jacob has been booked to ride.
The Grade 2 Horse and Jockey Chase is next and although it will only be a 5 runner race, they are a very tough 5 runners. Willie Mullins sends three very strong horses, while Jessie sends up the reliable Jetz and we have our equally hard fighting HARDLINE. He fell at the last in Leopardstown over Christmas but had been consistently placed before that. Davy Russell has been booked to ride him here and hopefully the pair can get back to business as usual.
TINTANGLE goes for the feature race of the card, the Coolmore NH Sires EBF Mares Novices Chase. It’s another highly competitive field and this mare has proven to be no easy ride. Davy Russell has been tasked with steering this mare today and there is probably no better man for the job here today.
We have one runner for the handicap chase, CARTWRIGHT. He has found the tough competition of beginner chases a bit too hot of late and will probably fit better into handicapping company. He is bang in the middle of the weights and this will give us a good indication of where to go with him.
Finally for Thurles we have MR LINGO in the bumper. This horse made a very pleasing debut under rules having been on the side-lines for so long. This looks a good race for him to build on that experience and Lisa O’Neill has been booked to ride.
Onto Ayr, where ZAMBEZI FIX goes in the opening maiden hurdle. This looks like it could be a potentially week field and this horse has placed 4th on both his most recent runs. This might be a nice race for him to pick up another place and hopefully finish in the frame. Richard Johnson has been booked to ride.
Next we have ESCARIA TEN in the novices hurdle. He won very nicely last time out and has continued his upward trajectory. It will be interesting to see how he does against the English horses of the same division. Adrian Heskin will be riding.
ISLE OF DESTINY is the next runner in the novices chase where he will face only 4 other runners. He ran well last time to finish 3rd under a penalty and this will be a nice race to continue his chasing education. Richard Johnson will be riding this one as well.
Finally we have SPORTY YANKEE in the handicap hurdle. this horse has placed on his last two outings and we would be hopefully he could do something similar here. Richard Johnson has been booked to ride.
We wish all our runners and riders the very best of luck and for a safe return.