The national hunt season really heats up in earnest once the Thursday fixtures start at Thurles.
The North Tipperary course hosts its initial autumn meeting this Thursday (2.15 pm start) and The Rall is put forward as the best bet of the afternoon in the Vendee Hurdle.
The Dessie Hughes-trained six-year-old has won his two most recent starts and the six-year-old was most impressive at Gowran Park last time when beating the admirably consistent Kirbybroguelantern in a two mile and a half mile novice hurdle on October 3rd.
Kirbybroguelantern of course franked the form by winning over two miles at Navan on October 12th and with The Rall on an upward curve, it will come as a major surprise if he fails to record his third consecutive success here. In all probability, Off The Mark is the one most likely to chase him home.
Perhaps, trainer Hughes could go away with two winners as his Dan George is likely to take all the beating in the www.thurlesraces.ie Handicap Chase.
Dan George posted a fine stamina-laden performance to beat the 109-rated Super Gale in a two mile five furlong handicap chase at Fairyhouse earlier this month and he can show that display was no flash in the pan by accounting for The Sheriff here.
Aranleigh is an extremely interesting entry in the Horse & Jockey Beginners Chase.
The Tony Mullins-trained Aranleigh was a near top-class novice hurdler last term and on his final start of the campaign, he was beaten a little over 17 lengths into fourth spot by the supremely-tough Cooldine in a Grade 2 novice hurdle at Fairyhouse in late March.
That run illustrates the company that the six-year-old was keeping last season and whilst this will be Aranleigh’s initial start over fences, he’s still likely to dispense with the towering Joncol.
Rookie trainer Paul Flynn should continue his excellent run by saddling Prince Linamix to oblige from Lochan Lacha in the Thurles Beginners Chase and Pat Cody’s Charleville could well make a winning debut over timber by returning to the coveted number one slot from The Fist Of God in the Killinan 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle.
Hi Big Spec, trained by Pat Martin, should attain due reward for his consistency by dismissing One Too Many in the Cashel Maiden Hurdle and A Thiarna Eistlinn is put forward to score from Lady Beneficial in the Holycross Handicap Hurdle.