Clonmel Oil Chase – Runner-By-Runner Guide

Fakir D'oudairies will put his Cheltenham crdentials on the line in the Grade 1 Ascot Chase on Saturday.Fakir D'oudairies will put his Cheltenham crdentials on the line in the Grade 1 Ascot Chase on Saturday.

Clonmel Oil Chase – Preview

Clonmel host a seven-race card on Thursday including the Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase. Our experts provide their views on each runner and pick out who you should be backing come post time.

14:25 Clonmel Oil Chase, 2m4f


Most eyes will be on the Joseph O’Brien trained Fakir D’oudairies who will be looking to get back into the winner’s enclosure after demolishing a strong field in the Marsh Chase at Aintree back in April. Prior to that win, the six-year-old came up short in strong contests in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and in the Dublin Chase at Leopardstown, finishing second on both occasions behind top-class individuals Allaho and Chacun Pour Soi.

Excuses can also be made about his most recent run in the Punchestown Gold Cup where the emphasis on stamina over 3miles was not to his liking, and ultimately finished a well-beaten third. Connections now wisely drop Fakir D’oudairies back down to his optimum trip. The six-year-old will have to give a small amount of weight away to three race-fit rivals, but he is the class horse in the race and should take a lot of beating. 


Trainer Willie Mullins will be looking to win the Clonmel Oil Chase for the fourth successive year and his best chance of winning the feature may come with seven-year-old Easy Game. On his penultimate run at Listowel, Easy Game won a three runner event where he drew clear of his main rival to win comfortably. Easy Game’s most recent run at Gowran Park can be dismissed as the seven-year-old was impeded three from the end and unseated jockey Brian Hayes. Despite receiving 2lb from the favourite Fakir D’oudairies, Easy Game will have to put in a career-best performance to reverse the form of their encounter in the Punchestown Gold Cup from April.


Royal Rendezvous will be looking for his fourth win a row over hurdles and fences for Wille Mullins. The nine-year-old has been in great form this season and has previously faced all three rivals that he will come up against on Thursday. Last time out Royal Rendezvous beat hardline by 0.5L at Gowran Park, and on its penultimate start, defeated stablemate Easy Game at Galway. However, Fakir D’oudairies was far too good for him when the pair met at Leopardstown back in December 2019. Royal Rendezvous is in fine form at the moment but should find the presence of the Joseph O’Brien runner too much once again. 


The sole Gordon Elliot representative is Hardline who should strip a lot fitter for seasonal reappearance when only going down narrowly to Royal Rendezvous at Gowran Park in October. That was the nine-year-olds first start in over a year and now faces that rival once again on much better terms. Hardline has run some respectable efforts on good ground the last two occasions but will be much better suited by the softer conditions he is likely to encounter on Thursday. If rediscovering some of his previous form, Hardline could give Fakir D’oudairies the most to worry about. 


FAKIR D’OUDAIRIES should have too much for his rivals and connections will be hoping that he can win this well before being campaigned for next years Cheltenham Festival once more. Hardline will be fitter for a recent return and can give the selection most to think about.