Thursday 14th November 2019
Author: Jordan Yates
Image: Jordan Yates
Welcome to my preview for this year’s Clonmel Oil Chase which is set to take place at 2:50 this Thursday. The race is a Grade 2 Chase that is contested over two miles and four furlongs and was won last year by the Willie Mullins trained Kemboy who went on to have a stellar campaign, to say the least. This year’s renewal has somewhat of a star-studded feel to it as it sees the return of the former superstar novice that is Douvan for Willie Mullins and the Ricci’s. He was a brilliant novice over two miles and went on to win the Supreme Novices Hurdle as well as the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival, he was also travelling very well when coming down in the 2018 Champion Chase at Cheltenham which was won by Altior. He’s been off the track for 569 days since he was last seen when finishing second behind Un De Sceaux in the Champion Chase at the Punchestown Festival. He’s a fascinating contender here and currently finds himself a general 13/8 chance under Paul Townend.
This looks no walk in the park though for the returning star as the very smart Monalee currently heads a lot of the markets for this year’s renewal of this Grade 2 affair. Henry de Bromhead’s eight year old was a very smart novice in his own right and progressed last season to win the Red Mills Chase and go on to finish fourth in the Ryanair. He was last seen when pulling up over a longer trip at the Punchestown Festival but is generally a very consistent performer at the top level. Rachel Blackmore takes the ride and he can be found trading at around the 5/4 mark.
The three horses that make up the line up are currently headed by the very likable Peregine Run for Peter Fahey and Kevin Sexton. He’s no stranger to the winner’s enclosure especially of late as he was in the form of his life during the summer winning five races in a row before putting in a solid effort in second behind Snow Falcon in a Grade 2. He got back to winning ways at Thurles last time when ground conditions were to his liking. Jessica Harrington sends Jett to take his place here which he duly deserves following his fine effort when winning a Group 3 chase at Punchestown. Robbie Power takes the ride on him and he’s trading at around 10/1. Concluding the line-up and also trading at a general 10/1 is Tout Est Permis. He approved markedly last term racking up a number of wins including a Grade 2 at Thurles before running a respectable race in the Irish Grand National. He was third behind Jett on his seasonal reappearance last month at Punchestown.
This isn’t a betting race for me however it really is a fascinating one. I’m going to down the romantic side of things for once as I think it could well be another win in the race for Willie Mullins with the returning DOUVAN. No-one really knows outside of Closutton just how much of his old ability the nine-year-old has retained however you wouldn’t think he’d have to be at the peak of his powers to win this. Monalee is a very smart rival with all that being said and is more than a worthy rival, however, if Douvan runs to the level of his second-placed effort in the Punchestown Champion Chase I think that could well be enough here. The ground looks against Peregine Run here, and he’s also up in grade. Jett and Tout Est Permis can’t be ruled out however they’d both need to step up on all known form if they are to challenge the top two in the betting.
3rd: TOUT EST PERMIS
2018: Kemboy (Paul Townend – Willie Mullins)
2017: Alpha Des Obeaux (Sean Flanagan – Mouse Morris)
2016: Alechi Inois (Ruby Walsh – Willie Mullins)
2015: Road To Riches (Bryan Cooper – Noel Meade)
2014: Champagne Fever (Paul Townend – Willie Mullins)