O'Grady's Torphichen can strike in Clonmel contest
There should be no unforeseen problems weather-wise with this afternoon's programme at Clonmel, where the going is soft ahead of the forecast for more snow and frost that could well call a halt to the jumping game once more over the weekend, WRITES DAMIEN McELROY.
A typical midweek card at the Tipperary venue is highlighted by a competitive field for the Chris 'Hopper' McGrath 80th Birthday Beginners Chase for which local trainer Edward O'Grady may have the answer with former English racer Torphichen.
Andrew McNamara's mount clearly encountered an above-average sort last time out at Limerick, where Quel Esprit, one of the better novice hurdlers last season, proved much too good in the straight as they went right away from the opposition.
This time O'Grady's charge is likely to be well tested by the likes of Tharawaat -- no match for Thegreatjohnbrowne at Punches-town over a longer trip -- the experienced Son Of Oscar, Dr Whizz and Quel Esprit's hat-trick seeking stable companion Cadspeed.
Taken out of the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse yesterday, Quito De La Roque, which concluded last term there with a fine staying success in a novice handicap hurdle, could resume now where the French-bred left off for Colm Murphy's yard in the Kilsheelan Beginners Chase.
Champion owner Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud might be on the mark as well in the opening Powerstown Maiden Hurdle when Tillahow makes his jumping debut.