Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 22 February 2018

Mullins hoping he can Drive On Regardless in bid to retain amateur title

Damien McElroy

Patrick Mullins could take another significant step at Tramore over the next two days towards retaining his amateur championship at the expense of persistent rival and former title-holder Nina Carberry.

Before his father Willie unleashes an expected strong Punchestown squad next week, the pair can combine for a morale-boosting couple of extra winners here with some of the stable's more modest performers.

The anticipated, relatively lively going at the undulating Waterford venue should be a help tomorrow to the chances of Drive On Regardless and Clonard Lad improving on their second placings last time out.

The former has demonstrated more than enough ability in public to suggest he's a worthy favourite for the opening maiden hurdle, even if Clonard Lad has more on his plate in the concluding bumper.

The likes of Persian Gayle, Whats On The Menu and Traffic Article have decent claims in the Metal Man Flat Race in common with Clonard Lad, which only lost out narrowly to joint favourite Foildubh at Downpatrick and, as a son of Presenting, will be suited by the drier surface here.


Whatever their fate, Mullins will be looking forward in anticipation to the opening session of Tramore's jumping weekend fixture, fully sponsored this afternoon by Mick Ryan's Saltan Properties firm.

Maid From Milan, on which he landed a Downpatrick bumper last August in Brian Keenan's colours, resumes for Mullins in the older maiden hurdle, for which Capitoline Hill could pose a real threat.

The going was good to firm when the daughter of Milan made that winning debut and her absence since shouldn't prove a hindrance as the champion trainer is adept at producing his charges fit and well after a break.

Mullins teams up later on with local trainer 'Shark' Hanlon's versatile fast-ground mare Shaimaa in the higher-rated of the Saltan Properties handicap hurdles and the combination merit plenty of respect.

Shane Kelly's L'Oiseau de Feu can make an impact here also, with young Pat Mangan's full claim a bonus and Eoin Doyle relies on course and distance victor Beliar instead of higher-rated Mojito Royale.

The concluding mares-only bumper likewise has a maximum field and, although there are several with promising form to recommend them, it could be a case of another Mullins benefit courtesy of debutante Mrs Clouseau.

Irish Independent

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