Apache back on track at Thurles

Thu 23rd Nov 2017, 07:48

photoApache Stronghold
©Healy Racing Photos
Apache Stronghold makes a welcome return to action in the Boomerang Animal Bedding And Boomerang Horse & Country Store Chase at Thurles this afternoon.

Noel Meade's Grade One winner has spent plenty of time on the sidelines since chasing home Vautour in the 2015 JLT Novices' Chase, falling in the Ryanair Gold Cup and finishing third at the Punchestown Festival in April of that year.

If he needs the run, all four of his rivals in this Listed heat are capable of taking advantage, not least Willie Mullins' Bachasson and the Andrew McNamara-trained top-weight Val De Ferbet.

The field is completed by Gordon Elliott's pair Charmix and Lieutenant Colonel.

Mullins starts Asthuria off over fences in the Go Racing At Thurles Mares Beginners Chase.

The six-year-old had her jumping issues over the smaller obstacles but when she puts it all together, she is a class act, as she proved when running away with a Listed affair when last seen.

Her stable companion Ainsi Va La Vie makes her second appearance over timber in the Sportsmens Mares Maiden Hurdle.

The grey rounded out a bumper hat-trick with a win in Listed company at Gowran Park, but blotted her copybook when only third on her jumping bow at Galway.

Steve Massey, for owners the Supreme Horse Racing Club, said: "After winning her three bumpers well, including the Listed bumper, she was slightly disappointing at Galway.

"She jumped grand and we are hopeful of her bouncing back to form as we think a lot about her. It's a good mares' maiden hurdle with some nice mares and it's race that's been won by Annie Power, Augusta Kate and our own Myska in the past."

Nellie Pledge makes a swift return for the I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Rated Novice Hurdle.

Brian Cawley's charge was fifth in the Listed event won by Forge Meadow at Punchestown last weekend and has her sights lowered notably.

She gets 10lb from Burren Life, who also competed at Listed level when last seen, taking third at Limerick.

Eiri Na Casca won comprehensively over fences here recently and reverts to hurdles for the www.thurlesraces.ie Handicap Hurdle off an 18lb lower mark than his revised chasing figure.

Plenty of the big stables are represented in the Holycross Flat Race, with Gun Digger, Mad Carew and Rio Vivas of particular interest.

Trainers concerned about wind-op rules

Trainers have expressed their concerns about being left "at a disadvantage" against overseas rivals after being told they will have to declare when horses have undergone wind surgery.

THE IRISH TIMES