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Clonmel preview

Updated: Tuesday, 11 Feb 2014 13:31 | Comments

Davy Russell on Very Wood at Fairyhouse in December
Davy Russell on Very Wood at Fairyhouse in December

Clonmel was beaten by the elements last week, but they try again on Wednesday and the feature event is the Grade Three Surehaul Mercedes-Benz Novice Hurdle.

Very Wood was an odds-on failure when only second at this level at Navan in November, but he has since held his own in the Royal Bond and behind Briar Hill at Naas, and a return to winning ways could force his way on to Noel Meade's Cheltenham team.

Urano and The Job Is Right also hold Festival engagements, as does Double Irish, who has been snapped up by Barry Connell since slamming subsequent winner Champagne James at the Leopardstown Christmas fixture.

Willie Mullins has put Turban in Saturday's Red Mills Chase but opts to keep his sights lower for the time being, and he is the one to beat in a field of four for the Derrygrath Chase.

Former stable companion Aupcharlie is the biggest danger on his return to action, with Make A Track not out of it either, but Lookoutnow faces an uphill climb to get to grip with opponents of this quality.

Mullins took the opening Kilsheelan Mares Hurdle (1.50pm) with Annie Power last year and while Upsie isn't of that class, she has enough in her locker to follow up for the champion trainer.

Linnel was second as favourite in the 2011 Grand Sefton Chase so it is surprising that he is still eligible for a race such as the Woodrooff Maiden Hunters Chase, and he comes up against a host of successful point-to-pointers.

Foritsa seeks a hat-trick in the Kilmolash Handicap Chase, in which wide-margin Cork scorer Castle Wings heads the list.

Blow The Doors Off and Daliyan also have to concede weight in the Surehaul Race Day Maiden Hurdle but do so on the back of second placings, although Desertmore Stream might be a tough nut to crack if forgetting a Thurles tumble.

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