Shattered Love was a wide margin winner of this race last year and while there is more depth to this year’s renewal, I think she has every chance in winning it again. She didn’t shape too badly when third in a Grade 3 chase over 3 miles at Punchestown, with the two in front of her that day, The Storyteller and Tout Est Permis, finishing 1st and 3rd in the Grade 1 Champion Chase up in Down Royal.
Shattered Love should improve for that outing and the intermediate trip suits her far better than it will suit Magic Of Light and Cabaret Queen. Magic Of Light is surely working back from the Grand National, while this trip around Clonmel is surely not ideal for Cabaret Queen. I’d have Shattered Love clear favourite in the betting and she makes plenty of appeal at the current prices.
This looks a very interesting race despite the small field, with La Domaniale a hurdles winner in France last year having her 1st start for Jonjo O’ Neill but she might be up against it here with Threeunderthrufive and Valleres bringing useful form into the race. Threeunderthrufive has done nothing wrong in his career to date but Valleres is the one I like here.
Point winner last year, he displayed plenty of ability when 3rd in his debut in a Kempton bumper behind the highly regarded Boothill. That race has worked out really nicely, with the 2nd and 5th winning races since. Valleres then was vey impressive when getting off the mark at the first time of asking over hurdles and the 5th who was beaten 19 lengths was just touched off on his next start at Exeter to give that form a little bit of a boost.
Valleres is also a half brother to Montbazaon, who was very useful for Alan King and this one might just make up into a nice novice hurdler himself this season.
Tomorrow Mystery was extremely impressive on her latest start over hurdles, when absolutely bolting up at Newbery last week and she gets to run here off that same mark of 124, despite the handicapper raising her to a mark of 138 in future.
She has now won her last three starts over hurdles and my thoughts were that there would be every chance that she would be capable of defying the revised mark, so she looks unopposable here off a mark of 124. The Nicholls camp continue to churn out the winners and barring accidents she should add to the yards winners total.
This doesn’t appear the strongest race ever and there is every chance that Don Lami can make a winning reappearance for the red hot Anthony Honeyball stable. Honeyball is 9-20 (45%) for the past two weeks and he is well capable of readying one off a break and when last seen, Don Lami was winning here on his chase debut off a 2lb lower mark.
He could do with straightening up his jumping, as he jumped left on that occasions but he remains very much unexposed and this mark may not be beyond him at all.
This is a competitive handicap chase despite the small field and I think Irish Prophecy has every chance of getting his 6th career win. His last chase win was at Newton Abbot in July when winning off a mark of 127 and though he runs here off a mark of 135, the form of his last run got a massive boost at the weekend.
His last run was a close second at Exeter behind El Presente with 13l back to the third. El Presente won the Badger Beers Silver Trophy Handicap Chase at Wincanton at the weekend off a 10lb higher mark. Ben Jones is tremendous value for this 3lb claim and conditions looks sure to be in his favour here, so a good run looks assured.
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