Monday 20 January 2020

Elfile can set tone for Mullins

Willie Mullins has a strong hand at Thurles
Willie Mullins has a strong hand at Thurles

Most of the interest in today's Thurles card centres around Willie Mullins once again and just 24 hours after getting the all clear to carry on as normal with his Punchestown Gold Cup winner Kemboy, Mullins can bag a hat-full of winners at the Tipperary track.

Horse Racing Ireland yesterday confirmed that a number of horses previously registered by the now warned-off Supreme Racing Club, would be eligible for entry and the leading Gold Cup fancy Kemboy was joined by fellow Grade One winner Aramon on that list.

With entries for Leopardstown's Christmas Festival closing shortly, that news comes at a good time for Mullins and his team as he continues to target so many household names at the big races.

Of the Mullins runners today, few would be recognised as household names just yet, but ELFILE (2.00, Thurles) was runner-up in a Grade One last season behind Honeysuckle and has since won a listed race at Punchestown so the eye is drawn to her participation in the Mares Hurdle on this card.

This looks another good bit of placing by Mullins and she should begin her season with a win here under Paul Townend over a trip that looks ideal.

ROYAL RENDEZVOUS (12.15, Thurles) is lightly raced having missed most of last season after winning his maiden at Galway in October.

He raced a bit keenly when eventually pulling up in a Grade One at the Punchestown Festival, but with a clear round he has the class to hold all opposition in the opening beginners chase on this card.

Daryl Jacob comes over to ride the Irish debutant FAN DE BLUES (2.30, Thurles) and that looks a significant move.

Elsewhere on the card, the Joseph O'Brien-trained GUTTURAL (3.05, Thurles) has the services of Oakley Brown's valuable 7lbs claim and he looks to be solid enough to win off his current rating.

Robbie Power is the man of the moment and rides top weight GREAT KHAN (12.50, Thurles) in the novice handicap chase who won't be far away on recent efforts.

It could turn out to be a clean sweep for top weights in the handicaps if DOUBLE WINDSOR (3.35, Thurles) can win the last.


12.15 Royal Rendezvous

12.50 Great Khan

1.25 Pienta

2.00 Elfile

2.30 Fan De Blues

3.05 Guttural

3.35 Double Windsor

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