Author: Darren Moore
Published: 09:23 28/01/2016
A select field of four quality novice chasers go to post for the Listed chase in Thurles at 2.15pm and in what looks to be a tricky race, the Willie Mullins trained AVANT TOUT should be able to get his rivals on the stretch from the front, with the benefit of a solid run last time out at Limerick.
The ground that day in Limerick was particularly testing and it was Avant Tout’s first run of season. The six-year-old grey was facing two classy and race-fit rivals in the shape of Outlander (who won) and Free Expression (third) but he jumped immaculately from the front and despite Outlander getting on top over the last, the tip performed with a lot of credit. That race was held over two miles and four furlongs so he takes a drop back in distance here, which should suit around Thurles and he is expect to make a seriously bold bid from the front.
In opposition are three high grade horses who are capable of upsetting things on any given day! Tennis Cap - a stablemate to Avant Tout - is the easiest of the three to discount. A formerly smart handicap hurdler, he is a winner over fences but is held on form by Smashing and Nearly Nama’d on runs this season and has a bit to find. Smashing is a talented and likeable grey who jumps well and has the size and scope to make his presence felt in Grade 2, possibly even Grade 1 company in due course. His run at Gowran Park last time out is very hard to knock, but his price is pretty skinny and Avant Tout could be a value price to get the better of him.
Nearly Nama’d has been very progressive lately winning two handicap chases in decent style. He made fairly heavy weather of winning at Fairyhouse earlier this month from a mark of 134 however and one just wonders, would one or two of these classier sorts have won that same race a lot easier from a mark that lenient. He is also facing stronger staying types over this two mile two furlong trip and although he is well worth his place in the lineup, he may just be found out today and come up a little short, unless there’s another big spurt of improvement in the tank.
2.15pm Thurles - AVANT TOUT - 2pts win, 15/8 (2.87) Boylesports
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