There’s a 7-race flat card at Thurles on Thursday with the opening two races carrying the most weight in terms of prize money with €9,000 up for grabs in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden at 2.05, while there’s over €10,000 to be won in the Thurles Nursery Handicap at 2.35. Overall, Thursday’s card in County Tipperary comprises of 3 maiden races and 4 handicaps.
There are 3 newcomers in the field of 11 for the opening contest with Dermot Weld’s Lilli Milena likely to be the best received of the debutants. The Moyglare bred daughter of top-class miler Dansili is out of a 2 time flat winner (as a 2 year-old) and is also closely related to 1¼m winner Jan Vermeer with Oisin Orr booked to ride.
Despite only starting out in their racing careers some of these fillies have crossed paths before with little to choose between Jessica Harrington’s St Clerans and Aidan O’Brien’s Peaceful when the pair finished down the field on debut at Leopardstown in August.
In terms of consistency however, it has been Joseph O’Brien’s Footstepsinthesand filly Zoom Zoom Babe who has caught the eye with a couple of decent 3rd place finishes at Naas and Kilarney from 2 career starts.
Listen to Kieran Burke’s audio preview to today’s card at Thurles above.
- Check out the latest betting for Thurles here.
Looking at the feature at 2.35, the unusual suspects in terms of churning out 2-year-old winners are likely to be involved as Aidan O’Brien, Joseph O’Brien and Jessica Harrington all saddle up promising individuals for this 1-mile contest.
Donnacha O’Brien takes the mount of Louisiana, who is by Derby & King George winner Galileo and is also a brother to twice top-level winner The Ghurka, and has taken a step forward with each start to date and shaped as though a return to this trip would suit when second at the Curragh last time for Aidan O’Brien.
Chrysalism ran with credit in listed company at Dundalk on Friday and has won at the Curragh and Fairyhouse this season for Joseph O’Brien, who calls on the service of 5lb claimer Shane Crosse here, while Jessica Harrington will have Shane Foley aboard Yulong Voice who won at Bellewstown two starts back but failed to follow up in a disappointing outing at Listowel last time.
Outside of the formidable trio, Meath’s Michael Mulvaney has only saddled up 5 winning 2 year-olds in the past 5 seasons but may be in with a shout of adding to that record here with bottom weight In From The Cold, who was a winner at Sligo in August before running on late to finish 4th of 20 runners in a Nursery at Naas over this trip last time. The manner in which In From the Cold powered on despite some interference during the run in suggests there may be more to come from this gelding.
A field of 15 will attempt to break their respective maidens at 3.10 in Racing Again October 24th Maiden over a mile.
Mick Halford’s Lope De Vega colt Hazran has been a silver medalist on 4 of his 5 career starts and was headed out inside the final furlong when applied with a first time tonguestrap at Cork last time (retained).
Ger Lyon’s Defilade left his unplaced debut at Naas well and truly behind by finishing second at Gowran Park last time but has been off for 134 days since, although Colin Keane is more than happy to accept the ride as he hunts down the flat jockey’s title.
Another big improver last time was Jim Bolger’s Vocatus, who despite remaining a maiden after 11 attempts got back on track when second of 15 at Listowel over 9f’s less than a month ago.
The 40-65 rated Moyne Handicap takes place over a mile at 3.45 with another full house of 15 runners set for action (3 reserves waiting in hope).
Local trainer Denis Hogan is two strong in the race (with a reserve also on standby) as he runs recent recruit from the Damian English yard Red Avenge and September Dundalk winner Farnese.
The latter proved his 33-1 success in Louth was no flash in the pan by running a ½ length second at the same venue last Friday.
Peter Fahey’s Pari Passu is rated 7lbs lower than when winning over this C&D almost exactly 12 months ago, but the 6-year-old has shown little of late and even a return to Thurles may not be enough to inspire a revival in Leigh Roche’s mount in the race.
All eyes will be on Travelwise as Patrick Flynn’s 64 rated 5-year-old looks to follow up on wins at Naas and a career best at Gowran Park with Chris Hayes in the saddle today as opposed to Ben Coen who was aboard for those recent victories.
Similar conditions apply for the Littleton Handicap at 4.15 only this race will be competed over the longer trip of 1m 4f.
Aidan Anthony Howards’s El Tren immediately stands out having only been risen 5lbs for victory over this trip at the Curragh last time, with that rise largely offset by the booking of 5lb claimer Shane Crosse.
Another key claimer to watch out for could be Paddy Harnett who takes 7lb’s off the back of Randalls Ur Poet, who has performed with credit over the timber lately and has an official rating of 115 over the flights and returns to the level on a mark of just 45 for Kildare’s Seamus Fahey.
Meanwhile, it would be dangerous to discount handicap debutant Instant Return, who is making just a second outing for Jessica Harrington having previously been on the books of Ger Lyons and is Shane Foley’s mount in the race.
The action cranks up another gear at 4.50 with the 50-70 rated www.thurlesraces.ie Handicap over 2 mile taking place.
There are two Jp McManus owned runners in the field as July Leopardstown winner Hurricane Sky and Ladies derby runner in July at the Curragh Bay Hill both line up for trainers Charles O’Brien and Padraig Roche.
The latter operates off a mark 123 over hurdles, winning 2 starts back over the timber at Bellewstown while the Hurricane Run gelding Hurricane Sky also scored 2 starts back over 1m 7f on the level at Leopardstown.
Noel Meade’s Harvest Bow is also a recent hurdles winner, putting in a career best to defeat 11 rivals in a juvenile at the short price of 11/10 with Colin Keane looking to guide Harvest Bow to just a second flat triumph, having scored over 7f’s two-years-ago when Keane was also in the saddle at Gowran Park.
However, it’s Gavin Cromwell’s Pepper’N Salt who is the top rated in the field of 15 despite this being a handicap debut and not really going close in 4 career outings so far, others are preferred.
The finale is the unique Horse & Jockey Maiden over 2-miles with €7,200 up for grabs.
Gavin Cromwell may have better luck in the closing race as Bentham makes a flat debut after scoring in back to back bumpers at Kilarney and Listowel and will have Gary Carroll in the saddle today.
Ray Hackett’s Happy Jacky also makes a British/Irish flat debut in the hunt for a hat-trick after scoring over hurdles at Ballinrobe and Clonmel with Darragh O’Keeffe claiming 5lbs here.
Keeping with the newcomers, Noel Meade’s Caer is also a jumps winner who makes a flat debut after finishing runner up over hurdles at Bellewstown last time, while Willie Mullins has an out and out debutant as Es Que Love colt Go West Young Lad races for the very first time with the 3-year-old closely related to a number of winners with Jamie Heffernan booked to ride the debutant.