Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 16 December 2017

'New Kid' to keep show on the road for Mullins

Trainer Willie Mullins is aiming for glory with New Kid In Town at Clonmel today. Picture: Healy Racing
Trainer Willie Mullins is aiming for glory with New Kid In Town at Clonmel today. Picture: Healy Racing

Johnny Ward

Dozens of horses left Closutton yesterday and those pondering replacements may consider backing New Kid In Town to take Clonmel's feature for Willie Mullins today.

No doubt the split between the champion trainer and champion owner will dominate talk at the track near the Tipperary-Waterford border. Some will see both sides of the argument; others will take one. For Mullins, the show goes on and Clonmel boasts a €20,000 feature worth targeting, even if New Kid In Town is no good thing.

Connections were getting somewhat exasperated with the son of Gamut, which won a maiden hurdle two summers back but failed to finish placed in seven subsequent starts. Whether it was the removal or a hood or the addition of Katie O'Farrell which did the trick at Kilbeggan last time, when he bolted up by 19 lengths, may never be known.

Ruby Walsh has yet to win on the horse but today may be the day if they can get into a rhythm on the nice ground. In truth, nothing in this is especially convincing.

They commence with a maiden hurdle that has no depth whatever. Creative Talent has not been especially convincing stamina-wise over hurdles but Ruby Walsh will be conscious of that and even if he does not stay the trip here he can probably still win.

There is more strength to the second maiden hurdle and Paul Townend takes over aboard Russellstown, which knocks on the door and can go two better for Ellmarie Holden.

One wonders what JP McManus made of yesterday's news. He targets the Thorney Bridge Novice Handicap Hurdle with both Russian Roulette and Badgerfort, though Lasoscar is taken to complete the hat-trick.

The three-mile handicap hurdle is an ordinary race and McManus' Blackthorn Prince can confirm the progressive nature that was evident in Ballinrobe. He remains nicely treated on paper.


Keep an eye on the betting about Fairy Island in the green and gold colours, returning in a first-time hood off a layoff in the penultimate event. He seems to have had his share of problems but could be interesting. Preference, though, is for Not For You, which has been deeply unfortunate this year and deserves to win a race such as this, even if he is creeping up the weights.

Medinah Theatre is a hopeful pick in the finale for Peter Fahey, who has had a year to remember so far. Though she looked decidedly wayward on debut, the ability is there.

The going at Clonmel is good in most places, though showers are possible today.

Irish Independent

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