There’s a 7 race jumps card at Clonmel on Thursday with the opening two races on the card maiden hurdle contests while the feature race at 4.00 is the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Christy Rated Novice Chase over 3 mile.
Local trainer Denis Hogan has 2 runners in the field of 7 with Dylan Hogan booked to ride Ozzie’s Way, who is 1 from 1 in chase’s after staying well in the closing stages to defeat 6 rivals at Ballinrobe when last season at the end of August.
Generator City, who is also trained by Denis Hogan was 6th in that same contest, fading into the back end of the field 4 from home. The 6 year-old has had a run since then but again its jumping was not fluent as the bay gelding dropped to 4th finishing 3 ¼ lengths behind the eventual winner Top of the Charts.
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Gordon Elliott’s Make My Heart Fly is expected to be among the market leaders despite falling 3 out at Sligo on the 25th September under the ride of 7lb claimer Sean O’Keeffe. Jack Kennedy will take the ride in the feature at Clonmel which is worth €12,000 to the winner.
The action at Clonmel gets underway at 1.50 with the 2m½f Kilmore Maiden Hurdle (5yo+). Gordon Elliott is two strong in this race with Grand National winning jockey Davy Russell scheduled to ride top weight Gun Merchant who’s been impressive on the level of late, finishing 1 length second to Rocket Lad at Tramore before winning by 2 ½ lengths at Punchestown over 2m½f last time. Thursday’s maiden represents a hurdle debut for the 6 year-old.
Meanwhile Fight For Love is making a yard debut for Elliott having raced 3 times over hurdles for Laura Mongan previously (unplaced on all 3 outings).
Returning from a 156 day break will be Henry De Bromhead’s flat winner Raya Time who was last seen when competing in a Grade B Hurdle contest at Punchestown, beating just one rival.
The 4 year-old’s and above will battle it out to break their respective maiden’s 30 minutes later as the Kilsheelan Mares Maiden Hurdle takes place at 2.20 with a few of these Mares crossing paths recently.
My Midnight, Caddy Shack, Abbi Shore and The Three Wizards finished in that order behind Quarry Lil over C&D last month with Henry De Bromhead’s The Three Wizards set to sport a first time tongue-tie at Clonmell in a bid to reverse that finish.
Meanwhile Kildare trainer Ed Harty’s Whatucallher has strung together some consistent performances (3233-4) despite bumping into some useful types and may get off the mark at the tenth attempt here with Donagh Meyler in the saddle.
An 80-95 rated Handicap hurdle race takes place at 2.55 with last year’s winning jockey Phillip Enright teaming up with Cork trainer Denis Leahy, as previous hurdle winner Desertmore Dreamer seeks to end a winless streak of 13 attempts dating back to 2016 when the 8 year-old won on similar going as is currently given for Thursday’s racing on the hurdles course (yielding-good in places).
In terms of in-form runners to watch out for, Something Sweet arrives here after a couple of cracking efforts at Listowel (2nd of 17) and Navan (3rd of 25) and will have the assistance of a 3lb claim from Mikey Hamil for trainer Roger McGrath as the previous course winner attempts to defy top weight (11-12). The daughter of Mahler, a 2m Queen’s Vase winner & St Leger runner-up, won a hurdle contest here off a mark of 86 in June and while her rating has since risen, she comes here officially 1lb well-in (and therefore out of this grade in future races).
The action steps up further at 3.25 with an 80-109 rated 3 mile handicap hurdle contest where Joseph O’Brien has 2 runners with JJ Slevin opting to take the mount of Ellipsism over Chess Grand Master who will have Shane Shortall in the saddle. 4 year-old Ellipsism put in a winning performance over hurdles in its penultimate start at Kilbeggan before disappointing at Listowel last time. Perhaps the application of first-time blinkers can spark a revival in O’Brien’s bay gelding.
O’Brien’s other runner Chess Grand Master is by the phenomenal Galileo but remains a maiden after 6 attempts over hurdles, placing just once.
Many of these will have questions to answer regarding the distance including expected market leader Tintown Robin, who is a 2 time course winner and has hinted at staying the longer trip when performing well over 2 mile 4f in his last 3 outings, which included a win at Wexford under today’s jockey Phillip Enright.
Following the 4.00 feature is a 0-102 rated handicap chase over 2 mile 2f at 4.30 where the bottom weight Bective Cave is expected to be a short price favorite. Matthew Smith’s 11 year-old veteran hurdler arrives here in seek of a hattrick after wins over the smaller obstacles at Down Royal and Ballinrobe last time and is thrown in to this chase with just a rating of 89. Robbie Power was aboard for both recent successes and will partner Bective Cave once more today.
There’s an interesting yard debutant for Henry De Bromhead as dual chase winner in the UK Kavanaghs Corner returns from a 6 month absence having previously raced for Simon Earle.
Finally, the Clonmell Flat Race takes place at 5.00 with a field of 11 currently declared for the 2 and half a mile bumper which was won by Willie and Patrick Mullins 12 months ago. The duo return today with the once raced Suvretta who was a warm favorite when 3rd on debut at Balinrobe at the end of August, although the 4 year-old had a rough passage that day and may make amends today.
Jamie Codd is booked to ride one of the more experienced contenders in the field as Gordon Elliott’s Lady of Elysium races for the sixth time having placed at Thurles on a 2nd career start and on the most recent outing at Galway 17 days ago. The 5 year-old brown Mare is by Doyen who won the Hardwicke Stakes & King George.
Elliott also has a promising newcomer set for action as Mustameet gelding The Rocking Chair races for the first time with Lisa O’Neill in the saddle. The Rocking chairs Dam won a point and was lightly raced in bumpers also.
Top Irish amateur jockey Derek O’Cononor is booked by Peter Fahey, who is flying in bumpers at the moment, to ride the thrice raced maiden Could Be Trouble who will need to improve on the 15 lengths 5th of 16 put in at Listowel 23 days ago.