|Mikey Fogarty could be smiling at Thurles on Thursday.|
She made her debut under rules here in a hot Beginners’ Chase (22f gd/yld), and she ran a whole lot better than the distance beaten suggests. She was 42L behind the high-class winner Alpha Des Obeaux, but she was badly hampered twice and she did well to get as close as she did. Paper Lantern was 13L behind her in 6th that day, and she is 6lb better off with that rival here.
She was ridden out the back by Fogarty, and I really liked the way she attacked her fences. All her best form in point to points came on soft, so I have been disappointed with her first couple of runs in handicaps on that sort of ground.
However, she was wearing a tongue tie for both those runs, and the trip of 21f on her handicap debut at Tramore was likely too sharp. She jumped well at Huntingdon upped in trip last time, but she was last to finish off 91(25f soft). After those two runs most people will have lost the faith, but the tongue tie is off and the cheek pieces are on.
Fogarty, on board for her best run around here, is back in the saddle and she has been dropped to a mark of 86. The soft ground should suit, and recent form is thin on the ground in this race. Paper Lantern is just 13/8 but, if Minmore Oscar can reproduce her run when beating him here back in October, she could easily hit the frame in a poor contest at odds of 20/1.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: 14.10 THURLES-MINMORE OSCAR E/W 20/1