Return to hurdles could signal change in fortune for Synopsis
Flat racing returned to Thurles last month because of the extended dry period and the track were forced to lose their opening two jump fixtures but the National Hunt wagon will roll into the Tipperary town for the first time this winter, albeit on very unfamiliar ground.
Thurles used to have a reputation in jest as being Ireland's first all-weather track, such was its ability to cope with heavy deluges of rain in the winter and still hold up for a seven-race card every Thursday.
The ground was still officially good to firm at Thurles yesterday evening and the lack of rain has taken from the fields slightly but Gordon Elliott will be disappointed if he doesn't come home with a few winners.
Elliott will have bigger names to unleash at the weekend at Naas and Navan but SYNOPSIS (2.30, Thurles) and MORATORIUM (3.35, Thurles) look two that punters should be keen on.
Synopsis heads the weights for what appears to be the most competitive race on the card but returning to hurdles might just change her fortunes a little.
The classy six-year-old was sent over fences and won her debut in that sphere at Thurles on heavy ground back in March before stepping up in grade.
She has to concede weight all round but is capable of handling these quicker conditions having won a Curragh maiden on the flat for Ger Lyons when it was good, so take a chance on Synopsis returning to winning ways.
Moratorium is a much more obvious choice in the maiden hurdle over 2m6f.
The Gigginstown-owned five-year-old was runner-up on a bumper in March and won at Down Royal in May before his summer break. He is related to a few winners and looks a notch above his rivals here.
Jaunty Thor won at Fairyhouse on Tuesday and will be a short price to win again under a penalty in the second race of the day but he's had a busy time of it and MINDSMADEUP (1.20, Thurles) is an alternative selection for James Sheehan and Rachael Blackmore.
Tony Martin's team have been in a richer run of form of late and the Meath man can be among the winners again with the hat-trick seeking TOOR GENERAL (3.0, Thurles).
Champion jockey Davy Russell remains on the Roscommon and Fairyhouse winner who has gone up 12lbs for those victories but just may have enough up his sleeve to win again against plenty of exposed rivals.