In the feature Munster Hurdle (1.30) at Clonmel, Draconien bids to build on a promising start for Willie Mullins, having barely broken sweat when running out a comfortable winner at the track in December on his Irish debut.
Gordon Elliott won last year’s renewal with Runfordave and saddles Brelade, who reverts to hurdles after failing to score in five chase starts, and the Gigginstown-owned Balzac Turgot and Poli Roi, who, like Brelade, is fitted with a tongue-tie for the first time.
A potential dark horse is Ministerforsport, who was Noel O’Neill’s first runner at Limerick when impressively landing a maiden hurdle a fortnight ago. The seven-runner field is completed by last-time-out winner Beyond The Law and Our Boy Boru.
Mullins could get his day off to a good start in the opening Kilsheelan Mares Hurdle, as Pietralunga has been installed as a very short price to score at the first time of asking for the champion handler.
Yet another Mullins-trained horse with strong claims is Giant Spirit, who looks likely to get involved in the Monroe Maiden Hurdle (2.10).
With racing at Clonmel beginning at 12.35, the ground at the track is currently heavy.