Mullins-Townsend: Treble On Cards At Thurles

Thurles first due off @ 14h30 on Sunday

With freezing temperatures forcing meetings in the UK to be abandoned, Irish racing at Thurles on Sunday looks best with two Group 2’s on their card.

Willie Mullins and Paul Townend look the pair to follow at Thurles, the right-handed track in County Tipperary being a favourite of the champion Irish trainer who is cracking hot form.

Their mare Hauturiere (10/11) looks hard to oppose in the Gr2 Carey Glass Irish EBF Mares Novice Chase (15h05). Only five rivals contend over the two-and-a-half-mile trip on a track likely to remain yielding.

Harmonya Maker from the Gordon Elliott yard is second favourite but was 37 lengths behind the favourite last time out at Limerick on similar ground.

She now receives 5lbs but that should not turn around the heavy defeat. Instead, fellow top-weight Silent Approach is selected for the exacta.

The feature on the card is the Gr2 Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase (15h35) for six-year-olds and older. Run over two-and-a-half-miles, Willie Mullins runs four of the six and Allaho who gets the services of Paul Townsend is the selection.

The Cheveley Park owned runner won this race last year by 12 lengths and loves soft ground. Narrowly beaten at Kempton over three miles in the King George last month, he should improve plenty here over his favoured distance.

Fellow Cheveley Park owned Envoi Allen should follow him home.

Mullins and Townend should land the treble with High Class Hero who runs in the W.T O’Grady Memorial Irish EBF Novice Hurdle at 16h45.

Unbeaten in four starts since joining the yard, the lightly raced seven-year-old was most impressive last time out when landing a listed contest at Limerick.

Stable-companion What Path is officially the highest-rated runner in the five strong field, and yet Paul Townend has elected to ride High Class Hero who has rival Sequestered well held on previous form.

The first at Thurles is due off at 14h30 on Sunday.

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