Just the six runners go to post for this Grade 3 over two and a half miles at Clonmel. Read on for our expert analysis and runner by runner guide plus tip.
IN SUMMARY: One horse that could well out run her odds is Vicky’s Charm who shouldn’t be as large as 33/1 but the Willie Mullins trained WESTERNER LADY is going to take all the beating with Ruby Walsh in the saddle. This mare racked up six straight wins but that came to a halt at Cork last time out, finding the classy Alpha Des Obeaux too good. There is no disgrace being beat to last years’ World Hurdle second and this looks a much easier assignment. She made a bad mistake early doors in the race and could not recover but she would get away with a mistake in this company.
1 WESTERNER LADY – Winner of six of her last starts including victory of a very good Galway handicap at the festival in the summer. Won a Grade 3 by 15 lengths at Tipperary last month and just bumped into the classy Alpha Des Obeaux last time out. She should beat this field with a good bit of authority.
2 HELLO SWEETIE – Sired by Westerner who is also the sire of the favourite and she is a very capable mare in her own right. Won a Beginners’ Chase here at Clonmel two starts back over shorter but she is a handicapper at best and would be surprising if she was good enough to land this contest.
3 PRESENTING MAHLER – Has work to do to reverse the form with Westerner Lady but she did beat a Willie Mullins hotpot Retour En France at Sligo in a four runner event back in September. Decent second at Wexford last time out and is respected but she looks up against it in the main.
4 ROCK ON THE MOOR – 2nd to Keppols Queen last Christmas in a Grade 3 at Leopardstown and contested a good Grade 2 Mares’ Hurdle at Doncaster where she was 5th to Smart Talk. Finished 2nd to Vroum Vroum Mag in the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and if she came here in that sort of form, she would give the favourite a lot to think about. Down in class here and is respected.
5 THANKS FOR TEA – Gave the very progressive Listen Dear of the Mullins stable a proper race at Clonmel two starts back but that was a two horse race so it was a bit tactical. Only beat 3 lengths by Westerner Lady last time out so she should go well but looks likely to fall short again.
6 VICKY’S CHARM – Went off a solid favourite when finishing 3rd to Hello Sweetie here at Clonmel last time out but won well at Chepstow for Barry Brennan prior before changing hands. She has plenty of ability and that was just her first run for the new yard so a bold run is not to be discounted in receipt of six pounds from the favourite.