Carberry to be fit for Pandorama mission
The season's leading rider Paul Carberry -- out of action for about two weeks after suffering a cracked bone in his foot at Navan last Sunday -- should be fit for Pandorama's trip to Newbury for the Hennessy Gold Cup later this month.
His main employer Noel Meade, who has Davy Condon deputising once more at Clonmel this afternoon aboard Oscar Looby, explained: "There's only a slight crack and the bone hasn't been displaced, so he should be okay in a fortnight."
Pulled up in Limerick's Munster National a month ago, Oscar Looby will hardly be in his element in the likely testing conditions at the Tipperary venue, where the Grade Two Clonmel Oil Chase prize can go instead to local trainer Edward O'Grady's Tranquil Sea.
Victorious a year ago in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham, Andrew McNamara's mount is the top-rated of today's seven participants on a mark of 157, with Scotsirish -- which Willie Mullins runs in preference to Jayo and Apt Approach -- next best on 154.
Tranquil Sea and Scotsirish -- along with the veteran Mansony -- are making their seasonal returns, whereas the Dessie Hughes-trained Siegemaster (145) as well as Oscar Looby, One Cool Cookie and bottom weight Let Yourself Go (150) have been active recently.
Unless the lack of match practice catches him out, Tranquil Sea -- which seems to handle heavy ground well -- is nominated to get back on the winning trail and Siegemaster could pose the main threat after his creditable Punchestown third to China Rock and Sizing Europe.
Willie Mullins and Paul Townend -- who may have to settle for place money with Scotsirish in the day's highlight -- can hit the target earlier when narrow Galway maiden hurdle scorer Apt Manor steps up half a mile in trip for the INH Stallion Owners EBF Novice Hurdle.
Joint top weights Brog An Ri, fit from the flat, and Bruach Na Mara could struggle here to contain both Apt Manor in particular and Colin Bowe's hat-trick seeker Our Victoria, which opened her jumping account over the course and distance a fortnight ago.
The TA Morris Memorial Mares Chase could be even more informative as Terence O'Brien's Cool Quest -- a runaway winner over this route at the last meeting -- Limerick specialist Cruising Katie and the well-regarded Blazing Tempo take on multiple scorer For Bill.
Already proven in Clonmel and a mare with a rare blend of pace and stamina, Killarney chemist Donie Sheahan's home-bred For Bill has been profitably placed by Cork trainer Michael Winters and she can resume in style for Davy Russell, who won this event in 2006 on Cailin Alainn.
- The funeral of former Clonmel manager and Irish Coursing Club chief executive Jerry Desmond, who lost his life in a drowning accident near his holiday home in Portugal last Friday, takes place tomorrow evening (6.0) and on Saturday (noon) in his native Clogheen near Cork city.
The 67-year-old, who retired after a decade as chairman of the Association Of Irish Racecourses in December 2006, was largely responsible for overseeing the delivery of media rights, which remains a vital income stream for all this country's tracks. Our sympathies go to his wife Cora and four children.