Sunday 16 December 2018

Minella looks a 'Fair' prospect for Meade after Clonmel rout

Trainer Noel Meade. Photo: Sportsfile
Trainer Noel Meade. Photo: Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

The Noel Meade-trained Minella Fair turned the EBF Novice Hurdle into a procession at Clonmel yesterday.

Sean Flanagan was able to dictate terms to suit himself on the well-backed 9/4 joint-favourite and had the field strung out at the third-last, with only Force Of Forces able to keep tabs on him.

Minella Fair soon galloped away from him, though, and the further he went the better he went as he came home 62 lengths to the good. High Sparrow stayed on to snatch second from Force Of Forces.

Flanagan said: "He's a horse that has a relentless one pace, and jumps really well.

"I'd say he'll be a right horse when he jumps a fence. He's very effective on very heavy ground. He's as genuine as they come and throws his heart on the line for you."

Luckyinmilan is really well treated over fences compared to his timber figure and he capitalised in the Carrick-On-Suir Handicap Chase.

The 11/10 favourite shared pacemaking duties with Mindsmadeup and found that little bit extra on the run-in to win by half a length.

Trainer Oliver McKiernan said: "He jumped well throughout. We thought two miles and seven furlongs here might be a horrid slog (the last race on the card) and two miles on this ground would be like two miles, two furlongs.

"Barry (Browne) claimed 5lb - he knows him well and gave him a great ride."

Meanwhile, Total Recall heads the Irish challenge for the Aintree Grand National following the second forfeit stage.

The Willie Mullins-trained Ladbrokes Trophy and Munster National hero, which was still in contention when falling three fences from the finish in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last Friday, is set to carry 11st 4lb if he turns out at Aintree.

Tiger Roll (10st 12lb) emerged as a leading National contender for Gordon Elliott by winning the Glenfarclas Chase around Cheltenham's cross-country course.

Stablemate Cause Of Causes (11st 1lb) disappointed in the same race when bidding for a fourth Festival success, but was runner-up in last year's National.

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