Racing

Pat has Luck on his side in Clonmel handicap hurdle

Ruby Walsh will ride My Matador in the St Patrick’s Well Maiden Hurdle and Enumerater in the three-mile handicap hurdle on Thursday
Neville Ring

LUCKY PAT is turned out quickly under his winner’s penalty as he bids to follow up his smooth Kilbeggan success in Thursday night’s Nire Valley Handicap Hurdle at Clonmel.

Trained by Irish Grand National winning-trainer Dot Love near Mullingar, the seven-year-old bounced back from a disappointing reappearance at Wexford in the best possible fashion in the hands of Davy Russell last time, cruising into contention before sealing matters with a slick leap at the last.

He remains open to plenty of improvement in handicaps and a bold bid looks on the cards, though younger Punch Bag scored nicely on his hurdles debut at Tramore before an intended tilt at the four-year-old Champion Hurdle at Punchestown. However, he sidestepped that Grade One when the ground hanged on the final day of the festival.

He’s rated 6lb below Lucky Pat here and, as a four-year-old, is getting a stone in weight with Dave Crosse, an old ally of trainer Brendan Duke, coming over for the ride. I don’t see Lucky Pat conceding the weight here to Punch Bag who is just 3lb above such as Tempo Mac.

The three maiden hurdles provide a couple of interesting prospects including Kala Brandy in the opening mares’ contest. Paul Townend rides and the seven year-old is looking to back up an authoritative Wexford bumper victory in this two and-a-half-mile hurdle. Tim Townend’s charge has the size and scope to make a successful hurdler and will likely take plenty of beating.

In the Clonacody Hurdle, over the same trip, there’s a nice chance for Conright Boy after a couple of promising runs, including a Punchestown February third behind Some Article and a more recent Navan 10-length fifth behind Sizing Titanium.

Ruby Walsh takes just two mounts on the card, My Matador for Edward O’Grady in the St Patrick’s Well Maiden Hurdle and Enumerater in the three-mile handicap hurdle for Eddie Harty.

My Matador unseated four out in the Killarney maiden hurdle the other week, won by Ruby on Karalee. He has an obvious chance here, but just might find the weight concessions to both Teoleena and St Peter’s Square, third in that same Killarney race, beyond him over this slightly shorter trip.

Mallards In Flight and Duty Dance scored in contrasting style last time, the former winning with ease over fences at Punchestown, while the latter had to battle for a narrow success over Oscar Sam at Navan in March and hasn’t been seen since.

Mallards In Flight has improved over fences and his mark over hurdles is now a whopping 19lb lower than his rating over fences. From his position at the bottom of the weights here, it is difficult not to be enthusiastic about his chances.

After a facile 20-length Downpatrick victory, Redclue, despite an 11lb reassessment, will still likely be all the rage in the 80-95 Handicap Hurdle, while Sizing Knockeen is a newcomer to note in the concluding bumper.

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