herald

Monday 22 January 2018

Go with Brelade back over hurdles

Brelade looks to be overpriced at Clonmel today. Pic: racingpost.com
Brelade looks to be overpriced at Clonmel today. Pic: racingpost.com

It feels like an age since we've had some racing here at home and Clonmel can put a smile back on punters' faces after a week in which plenty of our favourite horses have been struck down by injury.

The show must go on, however, and Gordon Elliott sends BRELADE back over hurdles as he hasn't really taken to fences - he looks overpriced in the Munster Hurdle.

Fine

There are some talented rivals in opposition, with the likes of Draconien and Poli Roi lining up, but this lad, on his penultimate start over the smaller obstacles, was a fine sixth in the Grade One Neptune Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, just 10 lengths behind Willoughby Court.

That is an excellent piece of form and he is rated 141 for a reason.

With the in-form Davy Russell on board and a tongue tie applied for the first time, he could simply outclass his rivals.

Willie Mullins, who has suffered plenty of bad news already this season, unleashes what could be a classy mare in the opener in PIETRALUNGA.

This mare was bought into Closutton from the Adrien Lacombe yard following a win at Dieppe in July and Mullins looks to have found an opportunity for her to score at the first time of asking.

Henry de Bromhead pitches Cool Saint straight in over hurdles in opposition and she'll be well schooled, but Mullins has such a fine recent record with these types and Pietralunga will be very tough to stop.

GIANT SPIRIT probably needed the spin on his first run for Mullins since leaving the retired Sandra Hughes' yard and he could be tough to stop in the Monroe Maiden Hurdle.

Just last year, he was best of the rest when second behind the classy Let's Dance, and if improving on his reappearance he can go close.

MISTER FIRST has been slipping down the handicap and can capitalise on a rating of 108 in the Jossesstown Handicap Chase.

Robbie Hennessy's 12-year-old showed some zest when second recently in a veterans' chase at Limerick over Christmas and has been dropped a further 2lbs.

Stamina

He is a previous winner on ground like today's and we can expect Andrew Lynch to ride him prominently to bring his stamina into play as he steps markedly down in trip.

Finally, Jim Dreaper looks to have a nice Hunter Chaser on his hands in SIZINGDOWNTHERHINE.

He was second on his only previous run in this sphere and made a pleasing return in a point-to-point at Portrush in October.

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