Grimes Hurdle Preview

Sat 11th Jul 2015, 09:06

Thousand Stars
©Healy Racing Photos
Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott both have dual representation in the Grade Three Kevin McManus Bookmaker Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary today.

Mullins took the prize 12 months ago with Simenon, when that globetrotter was run to a length and a quarter by Darwins Fox.

Henry de Bromhead again has Darwins Fox in contention for this year's renewal of the two-miler, and the Waterford handler now tries cheekpieces on his charge.

As ever, Mullins has an enviable hand with Thousand Stars (Paul Townend) and Diakali (Ruby Walsh) returning to domestic action after their latest efforts on French soil.

"Tipperary have put up great prize money, so they've got a field they deserve," said Mullins' son, Patrick.

"Thousand Stars ran a cracker on his last run in the French Champion Hurdle (second to Un Temps Pour Tout). He hasn't run over two miles in quite a while though, and it might be short of his best now, but it's obviously a drop down in class and he always seems to run very well.

"He's in good form since France and we're hoping he'll pick up some prize-money again.

"Dick Dowling, our head man, looks after him like a child so he's kept sweet that way. His work at home has always been very good. He has to give weight away to everything tomorrow, but it's a drop in class.

"Technically with Diakali getting 9Ib, and him being rated a few pounds ahead of Thousand Stars, he looks the obvious the choice.

"He's not very straightforward though - he's a very keen horse and he's been off the track for quite a while (398 days). He likely wants a bit further as well - he was placed over two and a half at Aintree and he ran well in France over three miles, but it's a good starting point to get him back in the swing of things and the conditions suit him well."

Elliott runs his good money-spinner Bayan at Cork on Friday evening, but that Danehill Dancer gelding also has an engagement here, along with his stable companion Taglietelle.

The eight-strong field is completed by Lean And Keen, Rawnaq and Mrs Mac Veale.

Title betting suspended due to Moore scans

Bookmakers suspended betting on the jockeys' championship on Friday as Ryan Moore awaited a specialist verdict on scans taken following a nasty incident before the final race at Newmarket on Thursday.

THE IRISH TIMES