Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 17 August 2019

A Toi Phil seeks atonement in Clonmel raid

A Toi Phil goes in the Clonmel Oil Chase today. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
A Toi Phil goes in the Clonmel Oil Chase today. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Gigginstown House Stud mount a four-horse raid on the Clonmel Oil Chase today following their big-race hat-trick at Navan last Sunday.

Leading their assault is the Gordon Elliott-trained A Toi Phil, which is on a retrieval mission after finishing only fourth to Disko at Down Royal earlier this month.

"He's a nice horse which is better off in small fields," said Gigginstown's racing manager Eddie O'Leary.

Elliott is also responsible for Tiger Roll, which drops down to this trip for the first time in over a year. The seven-year-old was second in a Listed contest at Wexford last month in his first race since being pulled up in the Irish Grand National in April.

"It's a bit short, but there's nothing else for him. He can run here rather than have a piece of work," said O'Leary.

Alpha Des Obeaux was fourth behind Outlander in the Champion Chase at Down Royal.

Connections are trying headgear in a bid to eke some improvement out of the seven-year-old, which is trained by Mouse Morris.

Balko Des Flos, which was a late withdrawal in Disko's race at Down Royal due to illness, is ready to go again. Henry de Bromhead's charge was second to A Toi Phil on his latest start at Gowran in September. De Bromhead also saddles Punchestown Gold Cup fourth Champagne West for Roger Brookhouse, while the sextet is completed by a third Elliott runner in Realt Mor.

Dinaria Des Obeaux gets a handy weight allowance as she attempts to back up her fencing debut success in the Mares Chase.

The four-year-old filly, trained by Elliott, receives upwards of 9lb from her rivals in the Listed contest over an extended two-and-a-half miles.

Dinaria Des Obeaux was a smart juvenile hurdler last term and made an instant impact on the transition to the bigger obstacles when staying on well close home to beat Le Martalin by a neck over two miles at Wexford last month.

Slowmotion has to concede 21lb to Dinaria Des Obeaux due to a Grade Three triumph. The Joseph O'Brien-trained five-year-old was third in the Galway Plate this summer, but was pulled up on her latest outing.

Others in a competitive race include Jessica Harrington's Magic Of Light, which opened her account over fences at Fairyhouse last week, and Lilywhite Gesture, another runner from the Elliott stable.

Four-time Grade One winner Flemenstar returns to action in the Clonmel Hurdle.

The 12-year-old last struck gold at the highest level at Leopardstown in 2015 but missed most of last season before returning at Easter and running at the Punchestown Festival.

Elliott fields two likely types in the shape of Hardline and Roaring Bull, with a total of seven runners going to post.

Elliott's General Principle will attempt to capitalise on a comparatively kind mark over timber in the Handicap Hurdle. Last seen taking an honourable fifth in the Irish National in April, the Grade Three winner is 9lb lower here.

All three Elliott horses run in the colours of Gigginstown House Stud and those silks will also be carried by the Joseph O'Brien-trained Imperial Way in the opening Maiden Hurdle.

Irish Independent

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