This has the looks of a good contest with twelve horses‘ going to post for this Beginner‘s Chase in the first race at Thurles today. Read on for our experts thoughts and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: This is likely to come down to the front two in the market and Royal Caviar could easily outclass them all on what he has shown so far. He was a good maiden winner here last year over hurdles should go well here for the in-form Willie Mullins team. That being said KEPPOLS QUEEN will be match fit after her good second at Wexford last month and she will no doubt improve. She is fancied to come out on top here for Jessica Harrington. Cliffside Park and A Sizing Network can chase them home.
1 A Sizing Network – Decent handicapper on his day but hasn’t won since landing a maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse (Good/Soft) on second start back in 2014. Has had mixed form sent chasing but out-ran odds of 33/1 on last start over C&D seventeen days ago when five lengths off the useful Tully East. Can get involved on best form but wins/runs ratio off-putting for win purposes here.
2 Cliffside Park – Bumper/Hurdle winner who hasn’t won for fourteen months. First run over fences was pleasing enough, finishing three lengths off the well fancied Unic De Bersy at Tramore (Good) over 2m6f in May. Can be a bit keen in his races and if settling here after an absence of 141 days he can run into the money with his trainer hitting some form after a winner at that track on Thursday. Place claims down in trip.
3 Double Scores – Lightly-raced 7-y-o and sole career win came in a minor event at Limerick (Heavy) in March when a facile winner by twelve lengths. Finished tailed off in last behind the smart Edward O’Grady gelding Prickly on comeback run after eight months off thirty-two days ago and should improve with that run behind him. The manner on which he travelled and won at Limerick suggests he is better than his most recent runs and hopes will be high for a better showing here but up against some classy types here and has a lot to prove for win purposes.
4 Fighting Days – Two time winner of minor events over hurdles including when a three-length winner at Down Royal (Good) over 2m. Didn’t fare too badly in a similar race at Naas last month but has struggled in his last three starts including on first start over fences at Clonmel (Soft). Up in trip here and hard to fancy on all form.
5 Joxer – Twotime winner over hurdles at Punchestown in earlier part of his career. Looked to be going in the right direction until being laid on the sidelines for two years and hard to know if he retains any ability. Pitched in here and best watched for now. Yard also run Millen Dollar Man.
6 Millen Dollar Man – Still a maiden after twenty runs but didn’t run too badly when a close second here three starts ago. Proved that was no fluke when fourth at Limerick (Good/Soft) on last start sixteen days ago. Down in trip here and makes chasing debut. Best watched unless the market vibes are positive. Yard also run Joxer.
7 Myselfandjoe – Previously trained by Robert Tyner and been off the track for 622 days. Finished fourth on debut last year when fourth of 13 in a hunter chase at Cork (Good/Soft) and has to lot to prove after such a long lay-off. Will no doubt improve for the run and best watched for new yard.
8 Royal Caviar – Decent hurdler who won on debut and added another success here when landing a maiden hurdle here (Soft) by a neck last Autumn to stablemate Haymount and eleven lengths in front of the useful Rocklander. Both horses have won twice since and his three-runner up finishes earlier this Spring in Listed and a Grade 2 behind the smart Sutton Place suggest he will be right in the mix for this. Has an absence of 265 days to overcome but master trainer can get one ready after a break and he should go close.
9 Rufino – Has shown fair hurdling form in thirteen runs without winning. Finished tailed off in tenth of 13 on first start over fences last Summer and returns now after 513 days off. Hard to fancy.
10 Templemichael – Not really shown much in three starts under rules but decent enough fifth in a minor event here last month. This much stronger and likely to struggle again upped in trip.
11 Varene De Vauzelle – Still a maiden after sixteen runs needs to put a disappointing run at Cork (Soft) behind him when sixth of 13 on last start a week ago. Likely to be big odds on chasing debut.
12 Keppols Queen – Has won three times over hurdles including up to 2m4f last year at Leopardstown when winning a Grade 3 in comfortable fashion from stablemate Rock On The Moor. Not disgraced behind the potentially smart Gigginstown runner Road To Respect and Daisy’s Gift from the Willie Mullin’s yard on his last two starts and with plenty of stamina in her pedigree she could be a tough nut to crack in this with conditions to suit. She can serve it up the likely favourite and last out to take this with match fitness on her side.