Theos Well to gets Winters in festive mood
MICK WINTERS' Theos Well appeals as one of the afternoon's most appealing options in the opening Roches Feeds Maiden Hurdle at Limerick.
The Mighty Milan will probably start favourite for the two-mile contest, but TJ Nagle's once-promising six-year-old has fluffed his lines twice of late.
For all that he had the quality to win two bumpers and finish a commendable fourth in graded company on his hurdle bow, he is difficult to trust after a couple of tame efforts.
Theos Well looks a far more reliable option under Martin Ferris. A Listowel bumper winner in September, the Tamure five-year-old has been third to the smart Rathvinden on his two latest starts at Cork, keeping on really well on his hurdle bow last time.
Even apart from the winner, that was a decent maiden, so Theos Well may not have to improve much to score if The Mighty Milan doesn't make a Lazarus-like recovery.
The most valuable purse on offer at the Munster venue today is the €50,000 Tim Duggan Memorial Chase, a 16-runner handicap over most of two and a half miles.
Nagle's 2011 Cork National victor The Bishop Looney has a chance off a low weight, with the progressive Dick Dundee one to note for Paul Nolan's in-form stable and Make A Track and Shrapnel two of a Gigginstown House Stud-owned trio with live chances. However, fancied is Christy Roche's Alan Crowe-ridden Speckled Wood.
A beautifully bred mare that didn't lose much in defeat to yesterday's facile Limerick winner Smashing over flights at Fairyhouse, the daughter of High Chaparral switches back to fences now.
Successful at the third time of asking over the bigger fences at Clonmel previously, she makes her handicap bow here off a very fair 123 for 10st 6lb.
Australian-based Tom Ryan, champion conditional here in 2005, returns for a couple of mounts over the holidays. He might get among the winners too, with the Donie Hassett-trained He Is Top Class an outside contender for the two-mile handicap hurdle.
He Is Top Class must turn the form around with Faranadooney, which was well in front of him when second to yesterday's Leopardstown winner Sea Light at Thurles. Hassett's charge may not manage it, but he ran well below expectations for some reason that day, and this represents a slight drop in class to boot.
In the Lyons Jaguar Land Rover Hurdle, Willie Mullins' front-running Renneti should build on the promise of its fine second in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle, though Real Steel is a threat.
Philip Fenton's useful son of Old Vic is another keen runner that won a Cork maiden hurdle in grand style last time, so he ought to give Renneti something to think about now if he settles a little better for Brian O'Connell.