So Young to lead another profitable day for Mullins
Despite a €27,500 pot, the Listed hurdle race at Thurles this afternoon has attracted just four runners, one of which is rated upwards of 26lbs superior to its three rivals.
All things being equal, the Willie Mullins-trained So Young should win with its head in its chest for Ruby Walsh, though it is worth remembering the fate of similar 'certainties' in this two-miler of late.
In the last three runnings of the race, Mourad (incidentally, also trained by Mullins), Solwhit and Catch Me all spectacularly failed to justify long odds-on favouritism.
The mares Miss Nomer and Noras Fancy provide some worthwhile opposition to So Young here, and it is also worth pointing out that the market leader's reappearance stroll at Punchestown came over three quarters of a mile further.
Nonetheless, some serious head-scratching will follow if this classy prospect fails to deliver.
As is the wont of the champion trainer these days, Mullins has an immensely powerful hand throughout the card.
In the Moloney Cup Chase, he and Walsh team up with Bundle Of Fun, a horse that has not quite exploited its favourable chase mark as might have been expected. Moreover, the son of Topanoora has gone up five pounds for his second at Limerick last month, but is still taken to be good enough in what is a poor race, despite a 17-strong field.
Lusiad, a long-standing maiden that was second to In Great Form at Fairyhouse last Saturday, is probably the pick of the remainder.
While the Carlow handler's Douneve is likewise expected to win the bumper under his son Patrick, the same partnership's Rockyaboya -- a recent novice chase winner at Limerick -- is passed over on its return to the smaller obstacles in the preceding novice handicap hurdle. Preferred in this is Lookoutnow.
Eoin Doyle's six-year-old is progressing nicely, backing up two placed efforts with a debut triumph in a similar contest to this at Cork two weeks ago. Under a six-pound penalty, the Michael Butler-ridden front-runner could take plenty of catching again.
Shrapnel is the nap selection in the INH Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle.
Earth Tremor will provide stern opposition, but Shrapnel can build on its Navan third to Formidableopponent now that it steps up in trip to two and three quarter miles.