Felix Younger should enjoy the conditions at Clonmel

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A terrific card at Clonmel where the feature is the Clonmel Oil Chase which sees the reappearance of Gold Cup third Road To Riches over an inadequate trip (2m4f) and on a right-handed track where he is, arguably, not quite as effective.

He is the best horse in the race and would be giving weight (5lbs) to Felix Younger (2.25) if this were a handicap but the latter might be best served by today’s conditions

The selection, trained by Willie Mullins, has always suggested he might make up into a top class chaser and looked to be getting his act together in the second half of last season winning his last four starts. He is not in the same class as the yard’s Un De Sceaux or Vautour but won a Grade 1 at Punchestown back in April, when Mallowney well beaten, and he is taken to land this Grade 2 contest.

Vroum Vroum Mag has been allotted 10st 6lbs in the Hennessy later in the month and cannot be opposed on her reappearance/prep run in a weak Grade 3 Mares event. She has won all five of her starts over fences for Willie Mullins and it would be a huge shock if she didn’t land this Grade 3 contest with ease.

At Ludlow, there is a hot Novices’ Hurdle. Dalia Pour Moi suggested he could be very smart when finishing runner up at Wetherby on debut for the Philip Hobbs yard.

A winning point-to-pointer, he refused to settle at the west Yorkshire track but was still only beaten a nose. He must go close but the Ben Pauling yard are in better form of late and Always Lion (2.30) lost little in defeat at Worcester on his hurdle debut, behind a Hobbs horse who ran at Exeter yesterday.

Simply The West (3.00) was a little keen at Uttoxeter coming back from a break last time but this winning point-to-pointer has always suggested he would make up into a decent staying chaser and he represents the yard of Charlie Longsdon in good form especially over the larger obstacles.

The selection finished 8L behind Junction Fourteen at the Staffordshire track but the winner has subsequently scored in Grade 2 company and he may have faced an impossible task last time.

Robins Reef (3.30) won a couple of bumpers going right-handed and can make a winning start over timber for Nicky Henderson. Those wins were gained on decent ground and she may not appreciate any further significant rain although the conditions are currently described as good to soft which is ideal.

Miss Crick is certainly better than she showed at Fontwell on her first start over timber when backed as if defeat was out of the question.

The Alan King yard had three disappointments on that occasion and I am sure she is better than that run would suggest.

The star of the show at Taunton is Modus (2.40) who was bought by JP McManus for £190,000 back in May and has subsequently left the stable of Robert Stephens. Runner up in the Festival Bumper and third in the Punchestown equivalent the gelding is now with champion trainer Paul Nicholls and it would be a disappointment if he couldn’t make a winning start over hurdles.

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