Sport Horse Racing

Friday 21 October 2016

Little Stevie to make big impact for man of the moment Mullins

Published 11/04/2016 | 02:30

Form jockey: David Mullins. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire
Form jockey: David Mullins. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire

Yesterday's scheduled Tramore card fell to water-logging and today's evening spread will probably need a considerable slice of luck to survive an inspection this morning.

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Should it prevail, man of the moment David Mullins has two chances of adding to his weekend heroics. The pick of them is Tagg's Island in the opening maiden hurdle, but it's hard to get away from Little Stevie in that.

Enda Bolger's promising Overbury four-year-old had gone clear on just his second track start at Cork last month when he crashed out at the final flight.

Victory looked certain, so he is clearly a useful prospect, as he had put the favourite and eventual winner Noble Vision in its place by then.

On the assumption that Little Stevie has recovered fully over the past two weeks, he should score for Adrian Heskin.

Bolger's only other runner is Be Positive in the hunters' chase. He hasn't been seen since winning and then finishing second at the 2014 Punchestown festival.

That is quite a lay-off that he needs to overcome here, but he is surely the best horse in what is a pretty moderate event of its type.

Bolger's horses are in great order and, if this fellow strips fit, he could ensure that the Limerick handler departs with a brace.

In the second maiden hurdle, Shay Barry's Thumb Stone Blues warrants the nap vote under Brian O'Connell.

As the only bumper winner on duty in this, Thumb Stone Blues has to concede weight to each of his seven rivals, one of which is Willie Mullins' Master Of Verse.

Bryan Cooper's mount has been quite disappointing and sports a first-time hood here, while Thumb Stone Blues has consistently run well.

Successful on his Kilbeggan debut last summer, the son of High Chaparral was then placed in two winners' bumpers and on his first two hurdle starts.

Second to Fire In Soul in deep ground at Clonmel last time, he should handle today's conditions. Ideally, Thumb Stone Blues may need further, but he is trusted to make the most of this opportunity.

Former course winner Miss Faithful is fancied to have a big say under seven-pound claimer Niall Kelly in the handicap hurdle that follows.

Peter McCreery's Goldwell mare won here in December 2014 off a mark of 88, and she has recently returned to something like her best form. Placed on her two latest starts off 91, she gets in here off 93, but Kelly is a capable rider who is value for his claim.

With that in mind, Miss Faithful looks pretty favourably treated.

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