Racing gets under way at Clonmel at 2.25 where testing conditions are expected for the seven-race fixture on Thursday. The most interesting race of the day is the Munster Hurdle at 2:55.
The opening contest is the Clonmel Maiden Hurdle where the Willie Mullins recruit, Security Beach is sure to be popular. A winner of a 1m4f maiden at Tramore in the summer he looked as if the transformation to this sphere would improve him. Top owners Gigginstown House Stud have since bought the gelding and he could well deliver on his national hunt debut tomorrow. It could pay to side with Bell Weir due to the fact that he has experience over obstacles. He was second to Graded performer Waydownsouth in Tramore and since was beaten at short odds in a maiden at Gowran. The ground was very heavy on that occasion and the winner got a good lead on the rest of the field which could not be made up. He looks well capable of winning his maiden and tomorrow his experience could tell.
The Munster Hurdle at 2:55 plays host to some very interesting contenders. Unika La Reconce holds a couple of Cheltenham Festival entries and the Willie Mullins-trained French import looked like a smart performer in the making when beating subsequent winner Speckled Wood at Thurles in December. She looks to be a chasing type and the trainer has stated that she doesn’t really have respect for hurdles. There is no denying that she looks classy and with her weight allowance she could take this contest, but there is no value in her short price. Anonis looks to be a decent sort and perhaps could be the one to side with. He landed a strong listed bumper at Cheltenham after an absence and made winning hurdles debut in a Leopardstown maiden. He has since fallen in Graded company. He looks like he needs every yard of this trip and could show enough ability to win this race which will be the deciding factor on whether he will make a trip overseas to Cheltenham or not.
The Demesne Maiden Hurdle at 3:25 could provide Blazing Sonnet with a good opportunity to record a first success over timber following a string of fine efforts in defeat. She has been a model of consistency and this looks like her most straight forward task to date. Tabac Brun and Un Beau Roman are the main danger.
Canaly 7/4 failed to give his running in the Paddy Power handicap at Leopardstown when he was well fancied last month. He looks like he could pay well to side with here today in the Powerstown Steeplechase at 3:55. He had impressed in winning a couple of races before his disappointing Paddy Power run. He beat the classy chaser Alderwood on one of those occasions and could take all the beating today. The Mullins-trained Immediate Response is sure to have supporters but is very short at 6/5.
Dunroe Boy is a three time winner over hurdles and looks the pick of a weak race in the Kilsheelan Beginners Steeplechase at 4:55. He has been running well on his latest efforts and could take some beating tomorrow at nice price. Hasty Times looks the main danger off a rating of 109.