The Clonmel Oil Chase (Thursday, 2.10pm) began life in 1992, and was upgraded to its current Grade-2 status in 1996. It is run over 2-miles 4-furlongs, and has been won in recent years by stars of National Hunt Racing such as Sizing Europe, Champagne Fever and Road To Riches.
The last 10 renewals have been won by horses aged 7 to 11, whilst Noel Meade is the leading trainer in that time with 3 winners, whilst Willie Mullins has won 2 of the last 3. There is a penalty system in place, but there is no evidence to suggest that having a penalty is a significant disadvantage.
7 runners are set to go to post for the 2016 Clonmel Oil Chase.
The 11-year-old is second-worst in at the weights on ratings, and his best trip is 2-miles. Stable is in cracking form but, as he’s not won on his seasonal debut since 2011, this looks to be a prep run.
3 Chase wins have all come at this trip on good ground, and capable of going much closer than he has on his recent runs. However, he’s 10lb wrong at the weights with Alechi Inois, and Bryan Cooper prefers the chances of Outlander.
Runner-up on his last 3 starts to decent types, but 9lb wrong at the weights with Alechi Inois. Looks sure to go close, but may have to wait until he returns to Leopardstown to win a big one.
Ran a decent second in the Galway Plate off 153, giving weight to the winner. Holds Clarcam on the form of that race, and when beating him next time out, and has an excellent record in single-figure fields on right-handed tracks. The Willie Mullins Horses perhaps aren’t running-up to their best, but he may still have enough in hand to win for trainer who has won it twice in the last 3 years.
Picked-up two nice handicaps off 123 and 132, but they were on softer ground, and officially has 23lb to find with Alechi Inois.
Gallant second last time out, but the worst in at the ratings, which will make life very difficult.
His chase rating of 148 remains 9lb below his best hurdles rating, and a few-pounds improvement would give him a theoretical chance off bottom-weight here. Stable also going well, so bold show anticipated if his fall 12-days ago hasn’t knocked his confidence.
2016 Clonmel Oil Chase Tip
Alechi Inois looks to have everything going for him other than his stable’s runners haven’t all been running up to their marks. However, he did only run 53 days ago and, as Willie Mullins won this in 2013 and 2014, he’s taken to be forward enough to see-off Monksland and Outlander.
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