Rachael Blackmore can steer Lieber Nicc to Clonmel win

The Champs Elysees gelding shaped with promise in a couple of strong heats over the winter

Rachael Blackmore
Rachael Blackmore has a good book of rides at Clonmel (David Davies for The Jockey Club/PA)

RACHAEL Blackmore has a decent book of rides at Clonmel this evening and may be able to leave with a couple of winners.

Lieber Nicc is one that appeals as a potential improver in the two-mile-three-furlong maiden hurdle.

The Champs Elysees gelding shaped with promise in a couple of strong heats over the winter and should be capable of running a big race now at this time of year.

He was last seen finishing third to Argento Boy in a solid Fairyhouse bumper in January when he had recent dual winner Born Braver a few lengths in front.

His first start over timber ended at the first as he was brought down in Navan but he shaped with promise when a staying-on eighth behind No Flies On Him at Leopardstown over Christmas.

This should be an easier task and with experience under his belt now he looks well placed to run a big race.

The standard in the race is set by the 111-rated Clodders Dream and it would be disappointing if he couldn’t surpass that level.

Ayiko is another name to note in the race, having run well when third to the aforementioned Born Braver at Naas last month.

The fact that Stuart Crawford’s charge has to carry an 8lb penalty for his bumper win makes life a bit tougher though.

In the following handicap over the same trip, Tideways Hero can make a winning return to action.

The Mount Nelson mare ran well on her handicap debut when last seen at Punchestown in October and there looks scope for further improvement.

She made plenty of ground up from the rear that day and off just a pound higher mark should be capable of landing a race in the lowest grade.

In the second division of that race the Mark Fahey-trained Flicker Of Hope is another who looks to have upside having run well on his initial attempt at handicap company.

The Buck’s Boum gelding was a bit sloppy over the last couple of flights when a staying on fourth to The Big Cloud at Limerick last month.

That was only his fourth career outing so there is still room for improvement from the unexposed five-year-old.

Willie Mullins has just one runner on the card and it would be no surprise if Cuckoo Valley made a winning start in the bumper. The Soldier Of Fortune gelding is a half-brother to Grade Two winner Timesremembered.