Grade Two Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase Thurles Guide 2024

Joe Glayshier | @joeglayshier

Thurles - January 21 2024
Thurles 13:35
1

Envoi Allen

J:
T: Henry De Bromhead
N/A
Age: 10
Weight: 11-12
OR: 164
Days: 71

Henry De Bromhead has one in the Grade Two Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase at Thurles on Sunday in the form of Envoi Allen. The ten-year-old is a top chaser on his day and despite being a bit off the boil for some time, returned to emphatic form last year when winning the Grade One Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival by just under three lengths to the favourite Shishkin.

He's not been able to back up that win since with some poor runs but he does come into this one on the back of a good run in the G1 Champion Chase at Down Royal in November, finishing a neck behind winner and the highly regarded chaser Gerri Colombe to finish second.

He's a tough one to predict but he's a player if on song for De Bromhead and jockey Rachael Blackmore.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/11/23DRO24Sft11-102
30/09/23GOW20Hy11-123
26/04/23PUN24Y11-104
16/03/23CHL20.5Sft11-101
26/12/22KEM24Sft11-107
Thurles - January 21 2024
Thurles 13:35
3
Danny Mullins

Appreciate It

J: Danny Mullins
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 10
Weight: 11-3
OR: 158
Days: 24

Willie Mullins sends four horses to this grade two event over 2m 4f at Thurles on Sunday, with what looks his runner-up to stablemate Allaho (at least in the betting), Appreciate It. The ten-year-old has been a decent performer for the leading Irish trainer over fences, winning his first two starts over the larger obstacles before not quite replicating that form in bigger races.

He was fourth in the Turners' at the Cheltenham Festival in March of last year before finishing in the top three on a number of occasions in decent contests at Fairyhouse and Punchestown but his most recent run at Leopardstown saw him finish fifth in the Grade One Savills Chase won by Galopin Des Champs.

He's a good horse and can't be discounted givern the form Mullins has been in over the last few years and Danny Mullins is in the saddle.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
21/01/24THU20Sft11-33
28/12/23LEO24.5Sft11-105
26/11/23PUN19.5Sft11-122
25/04/23PUN24.5Y/Sft11-102
09/04/23FAI20Y/Sft11-103
Thurles - January 21 2024
Thurles 13:35
2
Paul Townend

Allaho

J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 10
Weight: 11-8
OR: 173
Days: 26

As mentioned above, Willie Mullins has four in this year's renewal of the Grade Two Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase at Thurles, including the current market favourite Allaho. The 173-rated chaser returned from a long lay-off by winning the Grade Two Clonmel Oil Chase by nine lengths to stablemate Janidil before finishing third in the G1 King George at Kempton on Boxing Day over an extended trip of three miles.

He's a much bigger threat over this sort of trip, with back-to-back wins at the Cheltenham Festival in 2021 and 2022 coming at this trip and that proves in the market here, which has him as the one they all have to beat.

On his way back to full fitness, he should be hard to beat in the hands of Paul Townend, Mullins' number one stable jockey.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
21/01/24THU20Sft11-81
26/12/23KEM24Gd11-103
09/11/23CLO20.5Hy11-31
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-101
17/03/22CHL20.5Sft11-101
Thurles - January 21 2024
Thurles 13:35
6
Brian Hayes

Stattler

J: Brian Hayes
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 9
Weight: 11-3
OR: 160
Days: 56

Another one of Willie Mullins' runners in the G2 Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase is the nine-year-old Stattler. He made a cracking start to life over fences in 2022, following up his G3 Novice win at Naas in January by winning the National Hunt Chase over 3m 5f at the Cheltenham Festival by eight lengths to 15/8 favourite Run Wild Fred.

He made his seasonal return at the beginning of 2023 by finishing second at Tramore before another runner-up finish at Leopardstown, this time eight lengths behind the top chaser and stablemate Galopin Des Champs. However, he struggled in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham and was pulled up before finishing last of six in the John Durkan at Punchestown in November last time out.

He was once extremely promising over fences and needs to get back on track in the hands of Brian Hayes here.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
05/02/24PUN24.5Sft/Hy12-04
21/01/24THU20Sft11-32
26/11/23PUN19.5Sft11-126
17/03/23CHL26.5Sft11-10PU
04/02/23LEO24Y11-102
Thurles - January 21 2024
Thurles 13:35
5
Darragh O'Keeffe

French Dynamite

J: Darragh O'Keeffe
T: M F Morris
N/A
Age: 9
Weight: 11-3
OR: 154
Days: 52

Mouse Morris sends one to the Grade Two Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase at Thurles on Sunday in the form of French Dynamite. The nine-year-old is a smart runner over fences and has experience winning at this track back in October 2022. However, that win was over hurdles and since coming back over fences, he has failed to replicate that winning form.

He did finish fourth in the G1 Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival won by fellow runner here Envoi Allen and finished a decent third last time out in a listed chase over 2m 6f here in November, behind Haut En Couleurs and Classic Getaway.

No reason why he couldn't improve and run well but this is tougher and there are some top chasers in this race.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
21/01/24THU20Sft11-34
30/11/23THU22Y11-03
14/04/23AIN20Sft11-104
16/03/23CHL20.5Sft11-104
22/01/23THU20.5Y11-62
Thurles - January 21 2024
Thurles 13:35
4

Capodanno

J:
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-3
OR: 160
Days: 24

The last of Willie Mullins' runners in this grade two event at Thurles is eight-year-old Capodanno. The 160-rated chaser arrives here on the back of finishing third in the Grade One Savills Chase at Leopardstown in December, behind Gerri Colombe and stablemate Galopin Des Champs when priced as an 80/1 big outsider.

He last recorded victory back in April 2022, when he claimed the Grade One Champion Novice Chase at Punchestown by over six lengths to Lifetime Ambition but has not managed to build on that since. He went to Aintree for the Grand National last April but was pulled up before the last and it seems a bit like Mullins is trying to find the right sort of trip for his eight-year-old.

He cannot be discounted here but it seems unlikely he will claim victory here.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/01/24CHL25.5GS11-41
28/12/23LEO24.5Sft11-103
30/11/23THU22Y11-06
15/04/23AIN34.5GS11-5PU
18/02/23GOW20Sft/Hy11-123