Tuesday 12 December 2017

Tammys Hill can repeat 'Maze' success for Lennon

Tammy's Hill ridden by J.J. Smyth winning the FleetConnect Joseh R. O'Reily Hunters Steeplechase
Tammy's Hill ridden by J.J. Smyth winning the FleetConnect Joseh R. O'Reily Hunters Steeplechase
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Down Royal might be the poor relation on an action-packed day of racing, but the Albert Bartlett Hunters' Chase is an unlikely treat on a busy card at the 'Maze' venue.

Tammys Hill and Salsify, first and second last year, renew their compelling rivalry in the two-mile-seven-furlong contest, which also features the 2011 victor Carsonstown Boy.

Enda Bolger's JP McManus-owned On The Fringe, such a stylish winner of the 2012 Champion Hunters' Chase at Punchestown for JT McNamara, reappears for a first time since then under Nina Carberry, with Joncol also in opposition.

Paul Nolan's 10-year-old enjoyed two famous Grade One successes in 2009 and 2010, and he finished fourth on his return to point-to-pointing at Boulta in Cork last month.

The Last Derby, a fine winner of the United House Gold Cup for Eoin Griffin at Ascot in 2009, is another of some note in what should be a cracking affair.

On The Fringe is maybe the one with the most long-term potential. Still, this might come down to another dust-up between Tammys Hill and the classy dual Christies Foxhunters' hero Salsify.

Last year, Salsify had the benefit of a run coming here from Rodger Sweeney's Castlelyons base in Cork, but the testing going found him out on the day. This time, the ground will be soft again, yet he hasn't run since June.


Liam Lennon, on the other hand, brought Tammys Hill down to Cork to win readily at Ballindenisk on the first of this month. With that outing under his belt, his eight-year-old should take all the beating under the owner's son James Smyth.

Carberry's two other rides are expected to win. The peerless amateur has a rare maiden hurdle spin aboard the useful Couleur France for Noel Meade, and she also rides debutant Wes Hardin for her boss in the bumper.

The maiden hurdle is open but if Couleur France improves any bit for going jumping, he should finally get off the mark.

Irish Independent

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