A very healthy pot of €17,500 is up for grabs for the feature race on the card at Clonmel racecourse today. Bright New Dawn won last years’ renewal for the Gordon Elliott yard but they have no runner in the line up this time round. Read on for our expert analysis, runner by runner guide and free tip for the contest.
IN SUMMARY: When all of these are at their very best, there is no doubt Mozoltov would take the world of beating but he is now an eleven year old and has been in desperate form for Mouse Morris. My Murphy could find this trip on the sharp side whilst Knockraha Pylon needs to raise her game again in this company. It looks a battle between Val De Ferbet and THE PAPARAZZI KID (11/8) and we are taking the latter to come out on top for Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins. A gutsy winner at Wexford last time out, he has an outstanding record over this distance and on this ground and he looks to one to be on today.
1 MOZOLTOV – Former very classy chaser for Willie Mullins and beat eventual Gold Cup winner Don Cossack when they met back in 2013. However, his last win came nearly three years ago and although he ran a cracker in the Dan Memorial at Fairyhouse in January 2016 when second to Nearly Nama’d, he has been in woeful form for his first three runs for Mouse Morris, falling at Cork and beat a combined 123 lengths on his latest two starts. Likely to be pretty short for this race and looks worth taking on.
2 MY MURPHY – Fantastic servant to the Burke yard and his biggest scalp came in the Goffs Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park in 2016 when he ran out a deserving winner of the €100,000 handicap at odds of 16/1. The glory has been short lived though as he has been pulled up in four of his last six starts since and although the forecast soft ground will suit, the two and a half miles looks too much on the short side for him. He needs to show a lot more and may find one or two of these too pacy for him.
3 THE PAPARAZZI KID – Willie Mullins is just €60,000 behind Gordon Elliott in the hunt for the Irish Trainers’ Championship which is amazing considering the success the team at Cullentra House have had in recent weeks and months. This horse looks certain to run extremely well. For one, Ruby Walsh is booked and he arrives here off the back of a terrific week at Cheltenham. Secondly, unlike the majority of his rivals, he arrives here in very good form after a battling win at Wexford last time out. His form over two and a half miles is also terrific and it reads 2, 1, 1, 1, 5, 1 whilst he also loves the soft going. Huge chance.
4 VAL DE FERBET – Another ex Willie Mullins trained horse, now in the hands of Andrew McNamara. He was certainly no slouch at his peak, beating Grand National winner Rule The World by 13 lengths in a Grade 2 at Limerick and second to Ballynagour in the Grade 2 Prix La Barka Hurdle in France. He is still only an eight year old so is by no means finished yet and Gold Cup winning jockey Robbie Power takes over in the saddle. Trip and conditions will suit and he is certainly highly respected in this field.
5 KNOCKRAHA PYLON – Seven year old mare trained by Adrian Maguire who arrives here off the back of a comfortably victory in a Beginners’ Chase at Thurles last time out, seeing off Blazing West by over six lengths. This is a big step up in class and it looks a tall order on paper but Paul Townend has been booked for the ride and she gets a one pound allowance which helps her cause a little bit. She will have to improve on that latest effort to win here and the step up in trip would be a slight worry too.