Horse racing ideas: Clonmel, Sedgefield and Taunton, Thursday 14th Nov
Dual Cheltenham Festival winner Douvan returns at Clonmel, but today’s suggestions are taking him on with one other Grade-1-winning chaser.
There are three competitive jumps playing cards at present at Sedgefield, Taunton and Ludlow, however most racing eyes might be centered on Clonmel in Ireland the place the former star chaser Douvan returns to the fray after nearly 19 months off the monitor.
Doubts enough to take on returning Douvan
There’s positive to be an excellent crowd at Clonmel this afternoon as Douvan, probably the greatest chasers of current occasions, contests the Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase, his first run since April 2018 when he finished second to Un De Sceaux at the Punchestown Festival.
Trained by Willie Mullins (who has received this contest four occasions within the final six years), Douvan established a surprising 14 race successful streak between June 2014 – March 2017, which included Cheltenham Festival triumphs in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Arkle Chase, in addition to six different Grade 1 contests.
His winning run ended when beaten at odds of 2/9 within the 2017 Queen Mother Champion Chase when something clearly went amiss and he wasn’t seen for a year, returning in the same race against the good Altior.
The nine-year-old is back today with inquiries to answer. How a lot of his prodigious ability does he retain? Is he likely to be fully match for this powerful contest? And will he keep the extended two-and-a-half miles, having by no means raced this far before?
Given all of the above, and for once allowing the pinnacle to rule the guts, Henry De Bromhead’s stylish Monalee (Clonmel 2:50 NAP), a Grade 2 winner last time period, proven on the journey, and a fine fourth to Frodon in that memorable Ryanair Chase on the Cheltenham Festival in March, is marginally preferred.
Saying this, he faces no straightforward task giving the old warrior 5lb however look properly priced at 13/8. With Jett, Tout Et Permis and Peregrine making up the five-runner area, this guarantees to be a race to savour.
Oscar to supply award-winning performance
Donald McCain has his horses in good kind at the moment – he had a double at Bangor-On-Dee yesterday – and it wouldn’t be the largest shock to see his Cousin Oscar (Sedgefield three:50, each-way) produce a daring present this afternoon.
The seven-year-old by no means looked quite at home last season over fences so it is no shock to see his Grand National-winning handler sticking to timber for the time being.
Connections could have been satisfied with Cousin Oscar’s seasonal return at Bangor final month the place he formed well enough till squeezed for room between the ultimate two flights, before weakening to complete fourth in a two-mile handicap hurdle.
He’s yet to win at this journey but there’s a honest likelihood he’ll stay and looks properly priced at 10/1. Cousin Oscar has been dropped 1lb and the yard’s decent conditional Theo Gillard claims a further 7lb, so seems price taking an opportunity for 2/1 on the place part of the wager in a race where there are no standout candidates.
Blanca worth a play in Taunton finale
The last race of seven at Taunton today is a reasonably aggressive two-mile handicap hurdle by which the Seamus Mullins-trained Playa Blanca (Taunton four:10 Longshot) may well outrun his anticipated odds.
The shock 33/1 winner of a maiden hurdle at Huntingdon final term, he was then soundly overwhelmed in a scorching Ascot handicap hurdle prior to his summer season break.
Back at a extra practical degree on his seasonal return at Wincanton a couple of weeks in the past, the Zoffany gelding seemed as though he would enhance for the outing and within the circumstances formed fairly well in finishing fourth of nine, having held an opportunity two from home before tiring.
Running off a 3lb lower mark right now, it’s by no means inconceivable that 20/1 providing Playa Blanca can give supporters a good run for his or her cash in a wide-open affair.