Johnny Ward's Irish Angle: Willie Mullins holds strong hand at Thurles on Sunday

By Johnny Ward
Sat 23 Jan 2021

It was disappointing that Navan, which held such punting promise, was called off on Saturday, and there must be a fear for Thurles on Sunday as the track is set for a precautionary inspection at 8am before racing.

Known to some as Ireland's first all-weather track, Thurles is very rarely abandoned, but there is only so much any track can do in face of the threat of a cold snap.

A high quality, seven-race card is set to take centre stage, if racing goes ahead.

The promise of the impending spring is impossible to escape, too, with a 1.30pm start. Best of luck.

1.30 Thurles: Yukon Lil at 6-1 with Coral and Ladbrokes

I laid this horse on the basis of stamina doubts, and her price, when she was beaten at Navan, with Ruby Walsh also admitting concerns about the trip that day on Racing TV.

However, while she clearly did not get home, she was the last horse off the bridle.

This is a much easier track than Navan and she gets a lot of weight off her stablemate, Colreevy. I am intrigued that Willie Mullins goes for this sort of distance again, so will take my chances on her.

3.00 Thurles: Fighter Allen at 5-1 with Coral

This half-brother to Envoi Allen made a nice impression when very well-backed at Punchestown. He was sent off at 11-4 at Navan last time out, and clearly did not run his race.

You should always take a second look when you get a Willie Mullins-trained first string, in a race of this nature, on offer at around 5-1.

He retains plenty of potential, and is worth siding with here.

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