Monday 16 July 2018

Shaneshill looking to return to winning ways in Killarney chase

Trainer Willie Mullins. Photo: PA
Trainer Willie Mullins. Photo: PA

Thomas Kelly

Shaneshill will be the centre of attention in the An Riocht Chase at Killarney today.

It is almost a year since the Willie Mullins-trained nine-year-old last tasted victory in the Prix La Barka at Auteuil, but he ran several fine races in defeat last season, over hurdles and fences.

He was runner-up in the Galway Plate last summer and was last seen finishing third behind his esteemed stablemate Faugheen in the Champion Stayers Hurdle at Punchestown.

His mark of 156 makes him the joint top-rated runner in this Grade Three contest, along with Enda Bolger's Ballyoisin.

After struggling in competitive handicaps at Fairyhouse and Punchestown, Mullins sends Voix Du Reve back into conditions company for the Sliabh Luachra Hurdle.

The six-year-old's rating of 139 gives him every chance in this six-runner heat, with Joseph O'Brien's Marchese Marconi seemingly the biggest threat on his return from a break.

A strong field of 11 runners has been declared for the €40,000 Killarney National.

Harrington's Sandymount Duke was predictably outclassed in the Punchestown Gold Cup last month, but should be more competitive back in handicap company, despite the burden of top-weight.

Mullins runs Some Neck and Augustin, while Enda Bolger's La Touche Cup hero Auvergnat is back on a conventional track where he has won before.

After going down narrowly at the Curragh on Saturday, Gopsies Daughter is turned out again quickly to contest the Ballykisteen Handicap at Tipperary.

The Denis Hogan-trained seven-year-old was beaten by a head in a 28-runner contest at the Curragh.

Her main rivals look to be Miss Opportunity, Kendwar and Military Hill.

Champion jockey Colin Keane takes the ride on Military Hill and he will be also aboard recent Fairyhouse winner Misty Millie in the Twitter Handicap.

Irish Independent

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