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Selections Tue 22nd March

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4:38 Clonmel – Spyglass Hill

This looks to be a match race between Blackbow and SPYGLASS HILL. Willie Mullins horse should probably be favourite based on the form he has shown, but he isn’t certain to stay this trip, especially on heavy ground and there are reasons to believe that Spyglass Hill can reverse the form of their meeting at the Dublin Racing Festival. Spyglass Hill made the running last time and didn’t jump with any fluency under Hugh Morgan and weakened out of the race very quickly after jumping the 3rd last. The ground was probably quicker than ideal and so he is better judged on his previous effort when he won at Limerick over Christmas on Heavy ground, getting the better of Rebel Gold and Dinny Lacey in a driving finish. Rachel Blackmore takes over for this ride and the smaller field should be much more to his liking. Blackbow will almost certainly give him a lead and that should suit, giving him the perfect opportunity to outstay his rival in the closing stages.

2:01 Wetherby – Old Painless

This will be just the 2nd runner that harry Whittington has sent to Wetherby this season, but he has an 18% strike rate at the track overall and it does look to be a good opportunity for OLD PAINLESS to make a positive start to his career under rules. There is a distinct lack of depth in this Novices’ hurdle, with the Carlisle winner Gredin 0-3 under a penalty since and the Sandown 3rd Learntalot looking like he will need a really stiff test of stamina. If Old Painless can run to mark around 115 that may well be enough to win this and the form of his Point-to-Point win at Dromahane last May would suggest he has sufficient ability to do that. He won that race with relative ease, travelling strongly and kicking away from the field before the last and the form has worked out fairly well since as the 2nd and 3rd have both placed under rules in the interim. He was bought for £50,000 on the back of that win and returns here following a wind op in a relatively weak race.

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