Alelchi Inois on his way to victory in last year's Clonmel Oil Chase.
An intriguing renewal of the Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase at Clonmel next Thursday, November 16, is very much on the cards after the entries for the €50,000 event were made this afternoon.
Imperial Call, Dorans Pride, Beef Or Salmon, Edredon Bleu, War Of Attrition and Sizing Europe are all previous winners and the race, the highlight of the year at Clonmel, has attracted 12 horses this time.
Gordon Elliott’s Ball D’Arc heads the list. He made a hugely promising seasonal reappearance behind Disko in the MyCarNeedsA.com Chase at Down Royal last weekend.
With five entries, Elliott is bidding to win the contest for the first time and has also entered A Toi Phil, fourth in that Down Royal event but earlier successful in the Grade 2 PWC Champion Chase at Gowran Park. The County Meath trainer has also entered Clarcam which finished second in this race last year.
Henry De Bromhead, successful with Sizing Europe in 2012, could be represented by his TheTote.com Galway Plate winner Balko Des Flos and Champagne West, successful in the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase at Gowran Park in January.
Willie Mullins has won three of the last four renewals and has made two entries. He could run both Shaneshill, second in this year’s Galway Plate and Ballycasey which is an 11-time winner for the champion trainer.
Noel Meade is also doubly represented at the initial entry stage. Monksland, third to Alelchi Inois 12 months ago, warmed up for a repeat bid in the race with a win over hurdles at Thurles while Apache Stronghold would be running for the first time since taking third place behind Valseur Lido in the Grade 1 Growise Champion Novice Chase at the Punchestown festival in 2015.
The Mouse Morris-trained Alpha Des Obeaux, fourth to Outlander in the Grade 1 JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal completes the early line-up.
There are also 12 entries for the Listed T.A. Morris Memorial Irish EBF Mares Chase headed by the Gordon Elliott-trained Shattered Love. The €32,500 event has also attracted Joseph O'Brien’s TheTote.com Galway Plate third Slowmotion and the Jessica Harrington-trained Magic Of Light which opened her account over fences at Fairyhouse on Tuesday.
DJ Histon, Racecourse Manager at Clonmel, said: “The Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Steeplechase has firmly established itself as one of the early season highlights on the National Hunt Racing calendar. We look forward to another great occasion next Thursday.
“This is the 15th year this prestigious race will be run under the Clonmel Oil umbrella. The winner will be joining an illustrious role of honour which includes Cheltenham Gold Cup and Champion Chase winners as well as many others which went on to further success on the bigger stage.”