herald

Monday 22 October 2018

It's Green for go with Mullins' charge to win in Roscommon

TIPPED: St Stephens Green. Pic: Caroline Norris
TIPPED: St Stephens Green. Pic: Caroline Norris

Roscommon stage their biggest National Hunt fixture today with the running of the Grade Three Ballymore Irish EBF Novice Chase in which Henry de Bromhead holds a strong hand saddling a third of the nine runner field.

The Emmet Mullins-trained ST STEPHENS GREEN (4.15, Roscommon) is picked to come out on top however.

St Stephens Green has certainly been the flag-bearer of Emmet Mullins' fledging training career, providing the former jockey with his first winner in that sphere and winning seven races in total across all codes.

A winner of a bumper, hurdle, chase and on the flat, it would be hard to see any of this nine-runner field have the class to run such a big race in a Premier Handicap like St Stephens Green did at Leopardstown on Irish Champions Weekend.

Having made a lovely start over fences at Galway earlier in the summer, St Stephens Green is likely to improve again for that experience but jumped well enough to suggest he'll give a very good account of himself here.

The ground is unseasonably quick for this meeting but despite that we do have some nice runners to look forward to on the card and MOSKOVITE (2.35) is an interesting runner in the Peggy Guerin Memorial Mares Maiden Hurdle.

A bumper winner at Thurles earlier in the year, Denis Hogan pitched the five-year-old into much better company at the end of last season and while she failed to land a blow then, this looks a nice assignment to begin over hurdles.

Mark Walsh has a good book of rides to look forward to today with THERMISTOCLES (3.40) and DONT KICK NOR BITE (4.45) looking like his best chances.

Themistocles returns to action after a break but the course bumper winner does have previous hurdling experience to call on for the Roscommon On-Course Vets Maiden Hurdle.

Walsh is a notable booking for the horse that now carries the colours of Joseph O'Brien's sister, Sarah.

Running

Dont Kick Not Bite returns to nice ground after running at Listowel last time out.

Robert Tyner's mare has been fairly consistent this year and deserves to get her head in front in a race of this nature. Few horses have been more consistent that Noel Meade's FREE RANGER (2.05) who has been second on five of his six racecourse appearances and is a tentative choice to open his account in the opening maiden hurdle.

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