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The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections for 17th December 2023

The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections from Thurles & Navan


Billy Harney Memorial Irish EBF Mares Novice Hurdle (Listed) 2.00
Fun Fun Fun
It will be no surprise to see Fun Fun Fun heading the market for this Listed Novice Hurdle, and the bookies will be taking no chances either. This Martaline mare was a cosy winner of her first two starts in Bumpers, including a Grade 2 at the Dublin Racing Festival back in February. Her hurdling career got off to a perfect start here last month, going in by over 7 lengths is easy style, and she’s the one to beat returned to this track. Stablemate Pink In The Park and Henry de Bromhead’s Birdie Or Bust will be the pair on the bookmakers’ side, but Fun Fun Fun should win win win here

Horse & Jockey Hotel Rated Novice Hurdle 3.10
John McConnell’s Mahler gelding was a distant fourth in a Grade 2 Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham’s Autumn Festival, but these are calmer waters and he is taken to return to winning ways. Having had a productive summer with wins at Wexford and Cartmel, he might have been in need of the run at Cheltenham after a break, so should strip fitter for this Rated Novice Hurdle, despite shouldering top-weight. Henry de Bromhead’s Easy Fella, and the consistent Getaway Charlie head the list of dangers, but Kinbara gets the nudge with conditions to suit


Irish Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle 12.00
Lucky Lyreen
Jack Kennedy takes up the reins from Sam Ewing on Lucky Lyreen’s second start over timber, having finished fourth on his hurdling bow here over 20 furlongs. This drop in trip asks a question however, but this Bumper winner should find the ground fine so he can only be expected to improve. Teuchters Glory has form over the selection, while Willie Mullins has Spread Boss Ted who is also expected to come on for his first try over timber, but the chance is taken on Lucky Lyreen

BetVictor Proud To Support Irish Racing Maiden Hurdle 12.35
Dancing City (nap)
Willie Mullins’s Feel Like Dancing gelding put in a creditable performance to finish fifth over course and distance on his first try over timber last month. He can only be expected to improve from there, so with similar ground is taken to score here. The Champion Trainer is getting his yard into sparkling form before the Christmas Festival, which starts on St Stephen’s Day, and that will part of the preparation for the Dublin Racing Festival come February. Dancing City is likely to figure in that big weekend, so gets the nudge here

Download The BetVictor App Tara Handicap Hurdle (Listed) 1.10
Harvard Guy (nb)
This should come down to whether Shannon Royale or Harvard Guy handle the going better for this Listed contest. Our preference is for course and distance winner Harvard Guy, who gets lumps of weight from Shannon Royale, and is better suited by this trip. It’s a competitive enough Handicap, with the ground likely to sort the men from the boys, so with an 11lb pull over Shannon Royale, Harvard Guy looks the one to follow

The Mandarin

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