14:20 Clonmel (IRE) 16 Nov 2017 | Clonmel Oil Chase (Grade 2) (Class 1)
We take a look at the feature race in Ireland today at Clonmel with a high class, Grade 2 event, where Gigginstown is responsible for 4 of the 6 intended runners. and Gordon Elliot training three of the entries too.
Even if we were to go to the bottom of the betting at 100/1 we find a very useful Realt Mor who has class 1 winning form in the book, but the veteran will almost certainly be outclassed by more youthful competition on this occasion. Beaten 6 lengths by Douvan in February, he has not got within 20 lengths of a winner in six appearances since, and despite a hurdle outing for freshening purposes in the most recent sighting has to have a black line put through his chance.
Elliot has two further chances, to make up half the field here with A Toi Phil and Tiger Roll. The latter was a welcome addition to Elliot's haul at the Cheltenham festival last March winning the Amateur handicap at tasty odds of 16/1, most recently a runner-up to Genie in a Bottle at Wexford, it was a creditable appearance and his chance is very much respected in this. A Toi Phil, on the other hand, was comfortably beaten last time out but does have victory over Balko De Flos in the bag from back in September
Henry de Bromheads Balko Des Flos does have a win this season under his belt but the defeat to A Toi Phil could be confirmed and interest is more toward Champagne West who is making a return from six months off after falling to consecutive defeats in the Cheltenham and Punchestown Gold Cups to Sizing John. Unable to gain a place in either of those races, they still represent the very highest calibre of competition and his chance is obvious, even if the layers are not being overly cautious with his price.
Andrew Lynch rides Champagne West, here he is pictured aboard Whatuthink
The line up is completed by another Gigginstown representative in Alpha Des Obeaux. Smart enough and still improving, he may just have a little more on his plate here to compete for the winners' position at the trip, a little further being his preference in slightly easier company
A strong line up of chasers, all with excellent form in the book, and an army of Gigginstown player who may be usurped by CHAMPAGNE WEST who tends to run very well fresh and has some of the best form in the book