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Johnny Ward's top horse racing tips for Thurles on Sunday

By Johnny Ward
Sun 23 Jan 2022

Edward O'Grady will be honoured on Thyestes Day at Gowran next week as he celebrates 50 years since he trained his first winner.

A fascinating and well-spoken veteran of the game, he took out his license at 22 after the death of his father, Willie, who is honoured too in Sunday’s W.T. O'Grady Memorial Irish EBF Novice Hurdle at Thurles.

We also have the joy of Allaho in the feature and it's a belter of a card at the home of hurling.

Be lucky.

1.00 Thurles: John Cannon

Joe Murphy rarely runs hurdlers - Swamp Fox being the glaring exception in recent seasons - but he has a nice prospect in John Cannon.

The High Chaparral gelding won his bumper here and has a crucial experience edge on Pinkerton, whose bumper form looks inferior and who has to give him weight.

He has run twice over hurdles, third (off a break) to the smart Hook Up and second to Banbridge when beating 23 others at Punchestown. Banbridge showed his class at Navan on Saturday and if Bryan Cooper's mount runs his race he should be hard to beat.

2.05 Thurles: Cafe Con Leche

It's just typical if you were a lapsed follower of The Greek that he would get off the mark on his ninth attempt hurdling in a 26-runner handicap after being beaten in seven maiden hurdles, usually as favourite.

A 7lb rise for that Leopardstown run makes him intriguing but Cafe Con Leche looks the each-way value.

Essentially a miler on the Flat for Denis Hogan, the trip did not suit on his stable debut last time but, having little cover, he shaped well for around two miles of that race.

He has a talented 7lb claimer aboard here and is interesting back at two miles. Apart from a hopeless task on his jumps debut in a Grade Three, his record for Hogan hurdling was two wins and two thirds from seven starts. The pick of his form makes him very interesting off Sunday’s rating.

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