Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 4 December 2016

Morris hoping for more glory as Alamein bids to atone for flops

Thomas Kelly

Published 31/03/2016 | 02:30

Mouse Morris. Photo: Sportsfile
Mouse Morris. Photo: Sportsfile

Irish Grand National hero Mouse Morris will be hoping to supply Gigginstown House Stud with more success at Clonmel, where Alamein tackles the opening Easter Holidays Maiden Hurdle.

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An emotional Morris landed Monday's feature race with Rogue Angel but his 123-rated Alamein has proven a more frustrating type and comes here having been a beaten odds-on favourite on two of his last three starts.

This time out, Alamein faces the Willie Mullins-trained Bleu Berry, a winner in France before joining the champion trainer, as well as the JP McManus-owned Timing'severything, which has shown solid form on occasion.

The €17,500 Suir Valley Chase will feature two recent Cheltenham Festival also-rans, with Gigginstown's Bright New Dawn likely to take plenty of beating. Gordon Elliott's runner finished well down the field in the Grand Annual Chase, but prior to that was a winner over course and distance in February.

Opposing Bright New Dawn is The Job Is Right, a faller in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham but a third-placed finisher in the 2015 National Hunt Chase, while Tom Taaffe's Heaney finished fifth in the 2015 Kim Muir but was pulled up on his only subsequent start, last December.

Gold Cup-winning jockey and trainer Jim Culloty has prospects of a winner in the Slievenamon Beginners Chase with Marvellous Moment. The son of Turtle Island is still a maiden after 12 outings but has shown enough to suggest he can win a race of this standard.

Taking

Meanwhile, Gordon Elliott completed a double at Downpatrick yesterday courtesy of Le Grand Chene (9/4f) and Buyer Beware (7/2f), the latter Roger Loughran's first winner for the trainer.

Gavin Cromwell, farrier to Elliott's stable star Don Cossack, continued his good recent run when taking the Supporting The Irish Injured Jockeys Fund EBF Mares Maiden Hurdle at Down venue with Midnight Theatre.

Cromwell saw Jer's Girl win the Grade One Mares Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Monday and Midnight Theatre (4/6f) made it fifth time lucky on the racecourse, staying on well on the run-in for Luke Dempsey to beat Steel's Cotton.

Irish Independent

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