The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections from Thurles, Lingfield Park & Warwick


Coolmore N.H. Sires Mogul Irish EBF Mares Novice Chase (Grade 2) 2.40
Jeremys Flame
Gavin Cromwell has a busy day on Sunday, with runners both here at Thurles and across at Lingfield for their Winter Million meeting. He should score in this Grade 2 contest with Jeremys Flame, who perhaps should have won more than her single victory over fences at Naas, but she’s going the right way now that the breakthrough has been made. The extra yardage and the soft ground are just what she wants and has to be high on the shortlist

Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase (Grade 2) 3.15
Allaho (nap)
Willie Mullins will be expecting his star gelding to take this on the way to some bigger dates, including the Grade 1 Dublin Chase at the Dublin Racing Festival next month, and a choice of runs at the Cheltenham Festival. He should be fully primed for a big run here, after warming up in the John Durkan at Punchestown. The class act of the field, and very hard to oppose

Thurles Racecourse Hunters Chase 4.15
Willie Mullins can finish the day with a winner in Billaway, who just lost out by the smallest of margins in the Irish Champion Chase to the smart Bob And Co at the Punchestown Festival, despite looking all the way the winner from a long way out. These are calmer waters, and he goes well fresh, so the one to follow

Lingfield Park

Winter Million Novices’ Hurdle 1.20
Gavin Cromwell will be keeping tabs on his Irish raiders at Lingfield on Sunday, with Fameaftertheglory and Darver Star both featuring at the Surrey track. He could bring home the bacon too, with both of his runners having a live chance of success. There was plenty of dig in the ground on Friday, the first day of the three day meeting, so the County Meath trainer should have ideal conditions for his charge, and has a big shout here

Cazoo Novices’ Chase 1.50
Faivoir (nb)
This should be a straight showdown between War Lord and the selection, with preference for the Skelton runner. To be fair to War Lord, he’s done nothing wrong to date in his first three starts over fences, winning his first two before chasing home the smart Edwardstone in the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown, but this deep ground might just give Faivoir the edge, so he gets the nod

Weatherbys Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide Hurdle 2.25
Darver Star
A great race in store between the two likely principals, Darver Star and Brewin’upastorm. Gavin Cromwell has made the trip over with plenty of intent with Darver Star, and can land one of the big prizes on offer at this well backed winter meet. Darver Star to make the trip worthwhile

Fleur De Lys Chase 3.00
Dashel Drasher
Jeremy Scott’s stable star has been a stalwart here in the office for the last three years. Not just a Cheltenham specialist, though he does excel at Prestbury Park, there was never any doubt that he would take a return to timber in his stride at Newbury last month. Back over fences here, with Rex Dingle building up a good rapport with the nine year old since the devastating accident that took regular jockey, Matt Griffiths, out of the equation. Sure to be in the mix, and gets our money


Try Racing TV For Free Now Handicap Hurdle 2.50
Good Risk At All
Useful in bumpers last season, winning twice at Pattern level, and has made a decent start to his career over timber, finishing runner-up in both starts this term. Seems to get into this from a workable mark and should benefit from the faster ground, interesting

The Mandarin

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