Clancy Strand to leave rivals in slipstream
Clancy Strand appeals as being a solid nap selection in the two-and-a-quarter-mile handicap chase at Downpatrick this afternoon.
A total of eight modest sorts will oppose the Niall 'Boots' Madden-trained seven-year-old and none have as much in hand as this two-time winning hurdler. Successful over flights off a mark of 95 at Naas in August, the JP McManus-owned gelding was then placed off 102 at Roscommon.
Having seemingly not been at his best in four starts over fences last term, Clancy Strand gets in here lightly under the trainer's son and namesake. With the ground officially soft, any further rainfall would be a concern, but this is a contest that should be well within his capabilities.
The following beginners' chase is one of the more competitive races on a pretty mediocre spread. With Barry Geraghty up, Jetson, from the in-form Jessica Harrington team, is the pick.
Best at around three miles, the highest-rated hurdler on duty finished third to Protaras on his fencing bow over two and a quarter at Gowran Park, before splitting Farrells Fancy and Panther Claw in a decent heat over two and three-quarter miles at Thurles. This is over a fraction further again, so a clear round should see him figure.
Gordon Elliott and Davy Russell can go close with Torn Asunder in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Hurdle, while Henry de Bromhead's Sizing Jo'burg is favoured in the shorter edition.
Despite not scoring in three bumpers, the Old Vic four-year-old has potential. This switch to jumping could prove crucial and he is preferred to Philip Rothwell's recent course winner Bottle Rattler.