Thursday 14 December 2017

Thirsty can keep up Walsh's fine Work

Jockey Mark Walsh. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Jockey Mark Walsh. Photo: SPORTSFILE

Johnny Ward

Mark Walsh seems to be riding better than ever and he can help Thirsty Work complete a hat-trick in Thurles's feature today.

Some days, like this one, it might feel better to be JP McManus's second jockey, as the main man - Barry Geraghty - had to travel to Huntington for one ride. He steers Protek Fes Floes in a £25,000 handicap hurdle.

Trained by Jessica Harrington, Thirsty Work landed a gamble at Leopardstown over Christmas and followed up easily at Navan. The handicapper has put him up a stone in total, but he continues to do better and the trip seems pretty certain to suit.

The West's Awake has potential, while Livelovelaugh looks the preferred of the Willie Mullins pair. Another one trying a new trip is Conrad Hastings, which produced a sparkling performance to win on debut at Tipperary last May. He did not shape badly on his second run, when fifth to the ill-fated Sunni May.

The selection's connections could take the opener with Grade One-winning hurdler Don't Touch It. However, Blackmail has little to find with him on Leopardstown running.

Mouse Morris is more than five weeks without a winner. Boss Croaker, switched from Robert Tyner, is interesting for his new barn in the staying handicap chase.

Capital Force was a costly failure at Leopardstown but his form entitles him to win the two-mile maiden hurdle, one of a nice book of rides for Davy Russell today.

The nap selection is Champagne Classic in the staying maiden hurdle. He has a nice mix of toe and stamina; moreover, this looks a moderate event.

JP McManus has some big hopes today in a week that could be hugely profitable for the operation. Itsallhappening makes plenty of appeal in the penultimate event, while Henry de Bromhead can take the bumper for McManus's arch-rival Gigginstown with the Stowaway-bred Game Of War.

Little rain is forecast for Thurles, which is soft in most places and had a sunny day yesterday.

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