There’s a cracking little card lined up at Clonmel on Thursday afternoon, as the new jumps season is really starting to heat up.
The Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase is the feature, with another nice Mares Listed Chase.
Here are three horses to follow for the card:
2.15pm T.A. Morris Memorial Irish EBF Mares Chase (2 miles 4 furlongs 96 yards)
All eyes are likely to be on Allegorie De Vassy as she is the Grade 2 horse who goes well fresh and seems to peak and do well in the early season.
However, Henry De Bromhead's horses have started the season well, and Maskada could certainly mould into a graded type this season after running in some very competitive Handicaps last season.
She fell on seasonal debut at Fairyhouse last December, before going on to land a very competitive 23-runner field at Limerick, finishing ahead of her rivals by just under three lengths. She did then disappoint in a Leopardstown Handicap, another big field where she was sent off the market leader, but was well beaten.
Her jumping did let her down that day, which can be a little characteristic of hers and could be a cause for concern now stepping up into patterned company on Thursday.
It was Maskada's last run of the 22/23 season that really caught the eye, and was most definitely a career best of hers over the larger obstacles.
She lined up at the Cheltenham Festival, challenging in the Grand Annual where she put in a phenomenal jumping display to win with absolute ease by just over six lengths.
She was rated 142 then, and has since gone up nine pounds to her current career-high mark of 151, which is the joint highest in Thursday’s field.
Maskada stands out as the unexposed type in this race, and she could have a very productive season providing she has brushed up on her jumping.
2.50pm Clonmel Oil Chase (2 miles 4 furlongs 96 yards)
It should come as no surprise that Allaho features in this article, making his return to the racecourse for the first time in well over 500 days after being forced to miss the whole of last season.
The four-time Grade 1 winner did have a very productive season before he was ruled out with injury, running on four different occasions, three of them Grade 1 and one a Grade 2, winning them all with absolute ease.
The shortest winning distance was on seasonal return where he beat Janidil by two lengths in the Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase.
After such a layoff there is obviously a chance he might not be fully tuned up for this, or he might not retain the ability he once had, but Willie Mullins would not be bringing him back into training had he not felt that his horse could remain competitive at the highest level.
In truth, the two-time Ryanair Chase winner would not really have to be fully fit to win this race here, as he gets a bit of weight off his main market rival Janidil, whom he beat two years ago on seasonal re-appearance.
It will be great to see Allaho back in action, as he will look to go on to do big things again this season, presumably in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham festival once again.
4.00pm Watch Racing TV Free For 31 Days INH Flat Race (2 miles 80 yards)
A quite interesting contest, there isn't much to go off form-wise, but the saying is "Willie's in the Bumper", therefore his runner here, with Patrick Mullins on board, is certainly one to keep an eye on no matter what happens here.
Foreverwalking is a huge eye catcher on the breeding, and did 160,000 as a 4-year-old when purchased by new connections.
The son of Walk In The Park hasn't been seen in 571 days, when he won a point-to-point at Quakerstown by a head, and his form in behind does not stand out as anything special.
However,given the price tag and new connections, plus the fact they have been patient in waiting to run this horse, suggests that he could easily improve and land a bumper or two before the usual Novice Hurdle campaign next season and beyond.
The expensive price tag catches the eye, and he is a winning pointer on just his sole start in that sphere. The thinking is he could be a nice type for further down the line, but as we know, when it comes to any horses produced by Willie Mullins’ horses, he can get them to win in any code no matter where they run.
Race previews provided by @ Jake Russell