Tipperary Racecourse, Limerick Junction, Tipperary Directions

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Jack Absolute the standout dish on tasty Tipperary menu

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

RACING at Tipperary returns from its winter hibernation on Thursday evening with a tasty menu that caters for everyone. Those who prefer the Flat have a brace of sprints to tuck into first while jumping fans will be licking their lips at the prospect of two intriguing divisions of the maiden hurdle over two miles containing plenty of unexposed types that could prove to be above average. 

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Stamina comes to the fore in the Schooling At Tipperary Maiden Hurdle (6.55) over three miles and 2m4f Handicap Hurdle (7.25) has attracted a maximum field of 20. If all that isn’t enough to satisfy your appetite, dessert surely will, as all the top stables are represented in the concluding bumper.

Perhaps the most interesting runner of the evening is Jack Absolute in the 2m4f Handicap Hurdle (7.25). Cork trainer John Joe Walsh reverts back to hurdles with one of his stable starts as he tries to exploit a decent mark following an eye-catching effort over fences last time at Gowran Park when second to The Sneezer. Indeed, Follow The Plan, who finished fourth in that contest, has since gone on to land the Grade 1 Betfred Bowl at Aintree in great style and Walsh is confident of a big run from Jack Absolute. 

Speaking about his chances, Walsh said: 

“He’s in great form and he’ll love the ground. It can’t be soft enough for him so that should be to his advantage. He’s well-handicapped over hurdles and has a nice mark.“We’ll head to Punchestown next week for a chase but I would be disappointed if he couldn’t get into the money at Tipperary as he’s in good form.”

Henry De Bromhead has enjoyed another fantastic season with Sizing Europe flying the flag and the Waterford trainer will arrive at Tipperary on Thursday hoping to plunder two of the pots with An Dearthair Óg and You Must Know Me who both look to have superb chance. An Dearthair Óg is likely to be sent off favourite for the second division of the 2m Maiden Hurdle (6.25) and De Bromhead issued an upbeat bulletin about his chances. 

De Bromhead said: “He’s improved with every run and is a real big chasing type. We would love to win a maiden hurdle with him and then go chasing next season. That’s the plan with him.”

De Bromhead has never made any secret of the high esteem he holds You Must Know Me in and, after finishing second at Fairyhouse and Navan, it is easy to see why. The impressive Tallow point-to-point winner makes his debut over hurdles in the Schooling At Tipperary Maiden Hurdle (6.55) and De Bromhead is expecting a bold show. “He’s a horse we like an awful lot, we think the world of him down here,” he said. Before adding: “He won his point-to-point well so the trip shouldn’t be a problem and he has raced on soft ground both times so I have no worries on that front. He’ll make a lovely chaser in time but we’re looking forward to the Tipperary race”

The Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden (4.55) gets proceedings underway and who can forget the impression it left last year as Tough As Nails opened his account in breathtaking fashion. 

After losing a race in the stewards’ room at the Curragh the previous month, there was nothing that could stop Michael Mulvany’s speedster from breaking his duck this time as he quickened clear under Gary Carroll to beat Boris Grigoriev by a scintillating seven lengths. He proved himself to be a genuine Group 1 performer when narrowly touched off in the Marble Hill Stakes and the Railway Stakes at the Curragh in subsequent outings. 

Only three may enter the stalls for this year’s renewal but few would bet against it producing another top-class performer. The Tough As Nails colours are carried by debutant Chips Are Down while Patrick’s Prendergast’s Katchy lady went into plenty of notebooks when fifth at Cork on his debut. The Ger Lyons-trained Marvelous James completes the field and it could prove to be a trappy affair despite the small field. 

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