Karinga Queen all set to reign supreme at Thurles
THE opening Irish Stallion Farms Beginners Chase confined to mares is the most lucrative event on a modest enough card at Thurles today (inspection 8am) and the prize should go to the Michael Fitzsimons-trained Karinga Queen.
This daughter of Karinga Bay made a commendable bid to lead throughout on her most recent start over this course and distance last month and it was no disgrace that she ended up filling the runner-up berth. Although outpaced in the closing stages that day by Jagoes Mills, which followed up impressively at Fairyhouse yesterday, Shay Barry's mount still managed to hold off The Midnight Club for second money.
A repetition of that level of performance should suffice for Karinga Queen to prevail here, even if the likes of Carlas Dream, a fair fourth on that occasion, and Kind Oscar may attract their share of market support.
The Urlingford Maiden Hurdle is now the opening leg of the Jackpot and the outcome could rest between the Punchestown runner-up Recital Public for local trainer Mouse Morris and 117-rated Siberian Tiger, which has been steadily picking off prizes of late but hasn't competed over timber since chasing home Tilabay at Listowel's Harvest Festival last September.
Marginal preference is for Recital Public, which kept going well for Niall Madden on his most recent start when beating all except progressive Blackstairmountain in what looked a decent maiden at the Kildare track.
Ruby Walsh will hardly depart the session empty-handed and another of his rides that appeals on current form is the Willie Mullins-trained Clear Gold, which seems to retain his enthusiasm despite advancing years.
Clear Gold can be compensated in the Horse And Jockey Handicap Chase for his defeat at Punchestown by Battlefront in the hands of Ruby's younger sister, Katie, who might be on the mark in the Ladbrokes bumper too with Oliver McKiernan's Changing Times, despite the equally strong claims of Garlough.