Foxchapel King best
Today's eight-race Thurles card features an intriguing clash on the flat between two horses who have the potential to be excellent novice hurdlers.
To Your Honour and Daraheen Chief go head to head in the Babs Babes Welter Race and it will be intriguing to see which comes out on top.
Both horses won over flights at Listowel, with Daraheen Chief particularly impressive in a two and a half mile maiden hurdle on the Friday. Andrew McNamara's horse showed a real turn of foot to easily beat Layik by three and a half lengths and followed up an earlier bumper success over Equalise.
Some 24 hours later, To Your Honour made his hurdling debut, and after travelling sweetly throughout, had to be rousted to beat Ithastobedone by a length.
Ithastobedone ran a fine race at Tipperary on Sunday and the delight in the Francis Flood camp at Listowel indicated that substantial improvement is likely in their stable star. Daraheen Chief has a lot of natural speed and gets 5lb, but To Your Honour has already won over two miles on the flat and may just have the edge.
A lot of interest will also centre on the chasing debut of Foxchapel King in the EBF Chase. Mouse Morris has a wealth of potential top class jumpers, and this fellow still figures high in the list despite having his novice hurdle career tail off somewhat towards the end of last season. At his best, Foxchapel King can beat the experienced Johnny Brushaside.
John Oxx's Darsannda "won" her debut at Roscommon but was thrown out by the stewards for interfering with Saxophone in the closing stages. She still showed ability and looks well capable of dealing with the dual Dermot Weld challenge from Kasid and Simulacrum in the Glen Maiden.
The consistent Back To Bavaria just went down to Knockdoo at Listowel and should go close in the Eliogarty Handicap Hurdle; while Merchants Quay ran prominently for a long way in Daraheen Chief's race at the Co Kerry festival and holds a chance in the first division of the maiden hurdle.
Richard Quinn was the main man at York yesterday, kicking home an impressive 674 to 1 treble. He secured victories on Peculiarity, Slumbering and Maladerie to take his seasonal total to 98.