The Real Article can live up to his name
CLONMEL hosts a mixed card in aid of the local Hospice Support Group this evening, when a contribution from every paid admission will go towards the cause.
The three Flat races on the programme are all over an extended two miles, with a number of horses better known for their exploits in the jumping game likely to feature prominently.
Few are of as much interest as The Real Article in the opener. Edward O'Grady's son of Definite Article has already impressed in winning three bumpers and a hurdle, suffering his sole defeat when third behind Last Instalment recently.
Greenbelt Star and Murindo bring Flat form into the 15-runner maiden, while Jim Bolger's decision to introduce Morning Ireland over this trip is significant. Nonetheless, The Real Article offers a bit of proven class. If he can transfer his overall level of form to the Flat, he could take all the beating under Johnny Murtagh (pictured above).
Dermot Weld's Reach The Stars stands out under useful seven-pound claimer Leigh Roche in the Sepam Tipperary Perpetual Cup, a handicap worth €9,660.
Successful by the narrowest of margins at Limerick last time, Roche's allowance wipes out a six-pound penalty for that triumph. He should go close again, but preference is for the Pat Smullen-ridden Oneeightofamile.
A course and distance winner a year ago, the John Kiely-trained gelding performed with great credit over hurdles in the autumn and, if he is anywhere near peak fitness on his re-appearance, Oneeightofamile ought to go close on his favoured good ground.
Domination, with Davy Russell up, is the nap selection in the maiden hurdle. Raggletagglegypsy's second at Tramore a fortnight ago gives him a chance, but Domination improved to win his maiden here on heavy going in February.
Having subsequently been disqualified from that race due to a positive drug test, the former Flat winner will be very hard to beat in better conditions now.
Burnfort Girl, another looking to build on a recent Tramore second, is a prime contender for the first division of the handicap hurdle. However, Viaduct Bud, third at Wexford in March, may have her measure off a pound lower mark today.