Ireland continues to keep the show on the road for racing fans with Clonmel the focal point on Tuesday.
Stamina is the main box you will need to tick with your selections as the stiff County Tipperary venue has a tough uphill finish that tends to find out the non-stayers in the scramble for the winning line, especially on the forecast soft ground.
The course form is also handy at Clonmel with the track lending itself to specialist’s equine and human. Front-runners who manage to stack them up and save a bit down the far side can then kick on again on the sweeping downhill swing to the home straight and play ‘catch me if you can’ up the final climb.
Trainer and Jockey to watch
Champion trainer Willie Mullins is very much the boss at Clonmel with an astonishing 44% strike rate over the last five seasons with 48 winners from 110 runners and a meaty £43 level stakes profit to a £1 stake.
It’s hardly surprising that Mullins’ retained riders dominate this season’s Clonmel jockey standings as well: Paul Townend and Patrick Mullins have booted home a combined 11 winners from 20 rides.
The Mullins clan are bringing quality rather than quantity on Tuesday and you must wait until the feature race at 16:00 for their first runners.
Paul Townend gets the leg-up on Coral Cup 6th Bachasson while Danny Mullins takes the reins aboard lightly raced second string Bonbon Au Miel.
In the bumper at 17.00, it could be significant that Patrick Mullins steps aside from Closutton representative Captain Kangaroo to ride newcomer Kilcruit for Willie’s brother Tony.
Willie Mullins-trained runners at Clonmel:
4.00 – Bachasson (Paul Townend)
4.00 – Bonbon Au Miel (Danny Mullins)
5.00 – Captain Kangaroo (Miss Jody Townend)
Horse to watch
This season hasn’t really gone to plan for Mortal, who showed high-class form as a novice chaser last term.
He was second to Delta Work in the Grade 1 Neville Hotels Novices’ Chase. And a fine fifth behind class acts Topofthegame, Santini, Delta Work and Mister Malarky in the RSA Chase suggested big things to come in valuable handicap chases.
Instead, he arrives in this useful condition chase with three blobs against his name. Patience is certainly wearing thin with Gigginstown’s seven-year-old.
But there was much more encouragement in his run at Leopardstown last time as he looked the most likely winner until tying up in the closing stages, possibly needing the run after three months off.
With the excellent conditional Oakley Brown taking off seven pounds and a possible freshness advantage over key rivals Bachasson and Death Duty (both turned out quickly after midfield runs at the Cheltenham Festival), this could be the day for Mortal to resume normal service.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication