4.00pm Clonmel Tips & Betting Preview 16/02/2017

Eleven runners go to post for this competitive handicap at Clonmel racecourse on Thursday. A very respectable €12,000 fund is up for grabs for the contest over the extended two miles and one furlong and with heavy ground forecast, it will take quite some getting so look for a horse with a bit of stamina in the pedigree.

IN SUMMARY: Davy Russell is a very eye-catching booking on De Benno, a trainer he won for very recently whilst Hard Bought was successful at this track two starts back and deserves plenty of respect. All The Chimneys hacked up last time out but our vote goes to MOUNT BRANDON who has a big pull in the weights with All The Chimneys and he was a fine second at Punchestown in December. He sneaks in here off a very low weight and considering he is owned by J.P. McManus, if the money comes he will be a vry hard horse to beat.

1 COOLNAGORNA GIGGS – Tom Hogan trained eleven year old who was once rated 118 over fences and now gets to run off a fair mark of 106, albeit off top weight this afternoon. The Snurge gelding has a lengthy absence to overcome and it has to be a worry that he has not got his head in front since 2013. Second here at Clonmel twice from his two runs at the track, he is respected but others look more persuasive.

2 DE BENNO – The last time Davy Russell mounted a James Grace trained horse, it was a winner. That was She’llbealright at Fairyhouse last month so it is very interesting that he is booked for this ride too as he is a high calibre jockey. This now twelve year old Beneficial gelding is 0/14 over fences which doesn’t boost the confidence but he loves soft or heavy ground, stays further than this and it is the first time Davy has been on him, so he is an interesting contender.

3 VICKY’S CHARM – Speaking of good jockey bookings’, Paul Townend is booked for the job on John Kiely’s eight year old mare who was disappointing when sent off a well backed favourite at Tramore when last seen. She travelled well throughout the two mile five furlong contest but couldn’t see it out on heavy ground, ending up eighth. She is still unexposed over fences (this is her fourth start over them) and she has already contested a Grade 3 so the ex Barry Brennan trained heavy ground Chepstow winner has to be considered dropped back in trip.

4 ONE CAN CALLY – Six year old Scorpion mare whose sole success came over two and a half miles over hurdles at Gowran Park on heavy ground last year, coming from miles back to win (traded 170 in-running). She found this sort of trip far too sharp on her last few outings, looks a proper stayer so it is hard to see her winning again until she gets a more suitable test of stamina.

5 PASHTUNWALI – Eoin Griffin is a trainer who does well in handicaps of this nature and this is an interesting runner, having just his second start over the larger obstacles. By Golan, the six year old has tasted success just the once to date from twenty starts and that came in a bumper back in 2015 at Killarney. He was a good second off 107 at Carlisle over hurdles back in October and if he could recapture that form off 102 over fences, he would be an each way player.

6 BLACK ICE – Pulled up at Limerick in December, unshipped rider at Naas in November and tailed off on his other two starts over fences this season makes this horse unappealing from a betting perspective. Seamus Fahey’s inmate has had thirty-four starts and two victories which both came over hurdles off a mark of 97 so he also doesn’t look that well treated here off a mark of 101.

7 MAGUIRE’S GLEN – John Joe Slevin takes off a valuable five pounds on this Elizabeth Doyle runner, one of two in the race for the trainer. The nine year old is 0/5 over fences but has won twice over hurdles from fifteen starts, the last of which came at Wexford in 2014 off a mark of 102. He is three pounds lower here, take off the claim and that is eight pounds lower so he’s certainly not out of this at these weights.

8 HARD BOUGHT – Handicap winner here at Clonmel two starts back when sent off a very well backed 6/4 favourite, beating Bellgrove by a head but the pair were twelve lengths clear of the third. He ran a very poor race at Punchestown over two miles next time out but could be a danger coming back to the scene of his victory in November. He has a six pound higher mark to overcome but looks sure to be involved if he can run up to that mark again.

9 ALL THE CHIMNEYS – Eight year old gelding who is thriving at present, sent off an extremely well backed 5/4 favourite at Navan last month and he won with ease, travelling like a tank throughout the race and went on to score without any trouble. That was a weak enough affair though and he is now ten pounds higher in the weights so this will be a lot tougher but he has to be respected considering how easy he won his race last time.

10 REFUSED A NAME – Interesting runner for Shark Hanlon near the foot of the weights. A Montjeu gelding, the ten year old was beat 68 lengths at Punchestown when last seen but he was on a great run of form prior, second at Market Rasen in December off 103, third at Down Royal in December off 95 and second at Tramore off 95 on New Year’s Day off 95. He must enter calculations here off 94 if he can put that blip behind him.

11 MOUNT BRANDON – Owned by the biggest owner in the game J.P. McManus, Mark Walsh takes the ride on this Robert Tyner trained eight year old who gets to run off a feather-weight of just 8-10. He left three pull-up’s in a row behind him at Punchestown in December when second to Show And Go over two miles on soft ground, travelling like a dream, hitting 1.2 in-running but he just got out-battled. He was well beat behind All The Chimneys last time out but he was giving that winner four pounds that day and there is a ten pound pull in the weights here today. Massive chance if he can give his true running.

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