THERE is a weekend of national hunt action for Leeside jumps fans this weekend as there’s a meeting at Cork racecourse on Saturday whilst on Sunday, all roads will lead to Aghabullogue for the Muskerry Foxhounds annual point-to-point fixture.
Proceedings commence at 12.30pm both days.
At Cork, Gordon Elliot should continue his terrific run of success over the festive period by saddling The Greek to win the opening Come Racing To Cork Rated Novice Hurdle over two miles.
A son of Leading Light, The Greek deservedly opened his account at Leopardstown on St Stephen’s Day by benefiting from Davy Russell’s assistance to win a novice handicap hurdle when leading literally on the line to beat Belgoprince by a nose.
Raised seven lbs for that success to a new mark of 119, The Greek should continue on his merry way by eclipsing Hammersmith.
Willie Mullins likewise has his team in outstanding fettle and the Closutton maestro’s Adamantly Chosen can’t be realistically opposed in the CorkRacecourse.ie Maiden Hurdle for four an five-year-olds’.
Adamantly Chosen was the subject of major market support when making a victorious career debut with Jody Townend to beat Springwell Bay in the €100, 000 Goffs Land Rover bumper at the Punchestown festival in late April.
The son of Well Chosen then made a more than satisfactory start to his hurdling career by finishing second, beaten three parts of a length, by Gringo D’aubrelle in a Fairyhouse maiden hurdle in late November.
The form of that race then received a boost as Gordon Elliot’s Gringo D’aubrelle finished a respectable third to Paul Nicholls’ Stage Star in the Grade 1 Challow Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury last week.
Adamantly Chosen is taken to justify likely favouritism here at the expense of Enki Flacke.
Corbeau is a most interesting entry in the Happy New Yar From All At Cork Maiden Hurdle. Corbeau, a son of Martaline that’s trained by Johnny C Hurley at Jamesbrook outside Midleton, made a hugely-encouraging start to his career by finishing third to Gatsby Grey in a heavy-ground bumper at Navan last March.
With Gatsby Grey winning a Limerick maiden hurdle over Christmas on his first start for Oliver McKiernan, Corbeau is taken to open his account here at the expense of Henry de Bromhead’s Shantreusse.
Croi Corcra is put forward as the solution to the closing Irish Stallion Farms Mares’ (Pro/Am) Flat Race.
The Colin Bowe-trained Croi Corcra, whilst diminutive in stature, has already won three out of her four point-to-point starts and she clearly relishes soft ground as she showed when obliging at Ballindenisk last month.
Croi Corcra should get her track off to the best possible start here by excelling from Moon Rise Beauty.
Meanwhile, teting at Dromatimore on Sunday and Turlough O’Connor’s Cloudy Tuesday is the definite class act in the open lightweight.
The seven-year-old Cloudy Tuesday, winner of a Thurles hunters chase last term, has shown improved form this season and he claimed a notable scalp when beating former Cheltenham Foxhunter winner It Came To Pass on his return at Ballindenisk last month whilst he then went down fighting when chasing home the vastly more-experienced Mighty Stowaway at Dromahane last Thursday – December 30th.
Cloudy Tuesday, owned and bred by O’Connor’s maternal aunt Irene Walsh, should have most to fear here from Pallaskenry.
Newmarket-based handler O’Connor has excellent prospects of a double as his Desert Heather should attain due reward for her consistency by landing the five and six-year-old mares’ maiden.
Desert Heather made the frame for the third time this season, having previously come second at Kildorrery and Ballindenisk, by staying on from off the pace to come third behind Young Darleen at Dromahane last week.
The Harry Gettings-owned/bred Desert Heather is taken to see off Dame De Fortune in this opening contest.
Colin Bowe, who started off the likes of Envoi Allen and Ferny Hollow in points, has his string in fine fettle and the Co Wexford-based operator should win the five-year-old geldings’ maiden with El Rojo Grande.
The Ocovango-sired El Rojo Grande finished third to Madmansgame on his penultimate foray at Boulta last month and a reproduction of that effort should see him dispensing with Soldat Forte.