The mid-week racing action takes place at Clonmel this Thursday with the first of a planned seven-race card scheduled to get under way at 2.15.
It’s safe to say that Vintage Oak is one of the best bets of the entire afternoon in the Demense Maiden Hurdle. The Ciaran O’Brien-trained Vintage Oak created a hugely favourable impression by easily winning an Affane maiden point-to-point with Gerry Mangan when looking quite in need of the outing on his debut in mid-November.
It duly came as a major surprise that Vintage Oak wasn’t sold and he made a hugely encouraging start to his track career by finishing fourth to Tinakellylad in a two-mile maiden hurdle at this same venue on February 5th.
Vintage Oak was ultimately beaten almost 16 lengths altogether and it’s safe to say that the step up in trip of half a mile will ideally suit. Therefore, Vintage Oak should have little difficulty in returning to the coveted number one spot and in all probability, he should have most to fear from Jessies Dream.
Indeed, the latter’s trainer Willie Mullins should experience better fortune by saddling Earth Mother to triumph in the Clonmel Mares Maiden Hurdle.
Earth Mother has been a model of consistency in recent times and on her most recent outing, she was beaten three lengths into second place by Rotorua in a two-mile mares’ novice hurdle at this same venue in early February. Indeed, it can be argued that a final flight mistake certainly didn’t aid the chances of Earth Mother on that occasion and she’s put forward to go one better here at the expense of Mary’s Little Vic.
It could well take a smart one to lower the colours of Pay The Bounty in the closing Kilsheelan INH Flat Race. The Robert Tyner-trained British-bred finished second to an above-average sort in An Siorrac on his debut in a Dromahane maiden point-to-point in mid-November and he made a victorious return to the same north Cork venue on New Year’s Eve.
Pay The Bounty seemed a more than well-above average sort on that occasion and he is held in the highest possible regard by the canny Tyner. Pay The Bounty should make a winning start to his track career here by beating Hammersmith.
Tom Mullins’ Root Cause may well atone for his second-placed effort at Tramore on New Year’s Day by showing a clean pair of heels to Peak Radar in the Ballypatrick Handicap Hurdle whilst Beroni should have most to fear from Drumconvis in the Powerstown Chase.
James Nash’s Johnee Joblot seems to be on an upward trajectory at present and the 10-year-old should dispense with top-weight Top Mark in the Suir (Ladies) Handicap Hurdle. The Gerry Cully-trained Takeyourpick, another runner-up at Tramore on January 1st, can attain a deserved turn by outpointing Mustangsallyrally in the Lisronagh Novice Handicap Chase.