Sunday Irish Racing Tips: Three fancies at Thurles this afternoon

Tony's tips all run at Thurles today
Tony's tips all run at Thurles today

Tony Keenan returns with his Sunday Irish Racing Tips column and this time turns his attention to Thurles...

Recommended Bets

Back Mrs Mac Veale @ 7.06/1 or bigger in the 13:20 at Thurles (1pt)
Back Buck Dancing @ 5.59/2 or bigger in the 14:50 at Thurles (1pt)
Back Flinders River @ 5.59/2 or bigger in the 14:50 at Thurles (1pt)

The general remit of this column is to focus on the better Irish jumps racing each Sunday but today's card at Thurles doesn't really fit that bill. That's understandable with the good horses being kept back for the Christmas festivals but I'll be keeping stakes to the minimum as a result.

Last week's selections at Navan did well, particularly if one backed them at Betfair starting price, and that meeting is likely to throw up a few future winners so it's worth a quick reprise.

Domesday Book might have been about the only genuine horse in the maiden hurdle so the form is hard to get carried away with; that said he looks one to do well over fences with this yard. In the following 2m handicap hurdle, Velocity Of Light caught the eye with a big move before the straight and with a mark of 93 can drop in class; he has an entry in a weak event at Down Royal on St. Stephen's Day.

In the same race, Gold Platinum was better than the result, travelling well for a long way before making a mistake three out. She looks one working up to full fitness and the mares' handicap hurdle at Limerick on December 26th has likely been a target.

No More Heroes won the Grade 2 and while Shaneshill might be better on faster ground, I think the winner would have won further granted a strong pace; the race was over five seconds slower than the following handicap. That No More Heroes could win when his trainer already thinks he's a three-miler marks him down as the most exciting novice hurdler in Ireland.

Lite Duties won the graded handicap and the form looks strong; he could be up to competing in a graded novice himself soon. My selection Bentelimar travelled well for a long way but found little, his jockey reporting he didn't handle the ground. 

Peter Fahey produced a good training performance to win with Lots Of Memories after his bursting a blood vessel recently; he clearly wants to go up in trip. My selection Dysios jumped well for a long way and looked like placing before a bad mistake two out; he can win a maiden chase at an easier track against weaker competition. 

Neither Rubi Light nor Colbert Station showed much in the graded handicap chase and my suspicion is that Mount Colah, for all that he is likeable, won a poor race. Bordini in the bumper however beat proper horses and looks the leading Champion Bumper contender at this early stage. He again travelled well and pulled away from Attribution in the finish despite that one having built a head of steam before challenging the winner. Notably, he beat Attribution further than his stablemate Bellshill and gave away 4lbs too. 

Thurles 13:20

In its previous incarnation as a listed hurdle, this race was a graveyard for short-priced favourites with Catch Me, Solwhit and Mourad all turned over at odds-on. The favourite won't be quite so short now it's a handicap but I still think Is Herself About is worth opposing. The pace scenario is unlikely to suit with other front-runners like Dalasiri, Fosters Cross and Kilcarry Bridge in the field and her most recent win looks shaky form. Though her mistake two out was costly, the 7yo got a solo in front and looked beaten before Snapchat fell at the last.
Moreece is no more appealing after seventeen runs without a win and Mrs Mac Veale looks the way to go. She's a good mare when hitting a vein of form like she's in now and is just 5lbs higher than her course win early last month, a race that has worked out well. The handicapper only gave her a pound for winning at Wexford last time and she is worth backing. Of the others, I'd be most worried about Kilcarry Bridge who has been running well over fences but appears a better hurdler. 

Thurles 14:50

Wrath Of Titans is another of these scarily-named Gigginstown horses but he's done little to strike fear into his opposition thus far, his only win under rules an unimpressive bumper success at odds-on. He has an 8lb penalty for that win which gives a levelling effect that leaves him little clear of some of these despite running placed behind Shaneshill and Mr Diablo lately and in any case he is hard to win with and just the sort of horse to oppose at a short price. The cheekpieces might bring improvement but the record of Hughes runners, father and daughter, is 7/121 in recent years when market expectations said there should be 14 winners. 

I'm happy to take him on with the second and third favourites. Ruby Walsh is an interesting jockey booking for Buck Dancing who shaped well at Naas the time before last when fourth to Killer Crow; that form looks good enough to win a race like this and he was better than it too as he made a bad mistake at the last. Everything he has done so far suggests he wants this sort of trip and the booking of Ruby suggests all is well after a poor run last time. The form of Flinders River is not so good but he would have finished a lot closer on his sole start this season at Down Royal but for jumping mistakes and can go well. 

Recommended Bets

Back Mrs Mac Veale @ 7.06/1 or bigger in the 13:20 at Thurles (1pt)
Back Buck Dancing @ 5.59/2 or bigger in the 14:50 at Thurles (1pt)
Back Flinders River @ 5.59/2 or bigger in the 14:50 at Thurles (1pt)

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