Thurles preview: Capuccimix the Pierce Molony pick

Published on: March 20, 2020
Author: Jamie Clark
2020 Pierce Molony Memorial Novice Chase preview from Thurles

The feature race in Ireland on Saturday is the 2m 2f Grade 3 Pierce Molony Memorial Novice Chase (15:10) and Capuccimix looks worth siding with.

Trained by Henry De Bromhead, this lightly-raced seven-year-old has been progressing well over fences this season.

Capuccimix won his racecourse debut in a Clonmel maiden hurdle before finding a sounder surface too tough to handle when well-beaten by Allaho.

Although that was in this grade, the contest was over 3m which was a trip the son of Al Namix clearly didn’t get.

Connections gave him just two runs over the smaller obstacles before sending him chasing. Capuccimix chased home Cash Back on his bow over fences and reappearance at Navan in November.

He only tired on the run-in and was entitled to need this outing after 283 days off.

While he then unseated his rider at the first next time up at Leopardstown during the Christmas Festival, Capuccimix was far from disgraced when runner-up to Chosen Mate at Gowran Park in January.

Although no match for the easy 11 lengths winner, that one has since come out and landed the ultra-competitive Grade 3 Grand Annual Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival off a rating of 147.

The assessor has now put Chosen Mate up 9lb for that success. Capuccimix was behind a well above average sort on his penultimate start, then.

He has also advertised the form himself when making all and bolting up by 11 lengths at Naas.

The Pierce Molony Memorial Novice Chase demands more than a beginners’ event, but Capuccimix is clearly going the right way.

It would be no surprise to see him take this step up in trip and grade in his stride under Rachael Blackmore. Capuccimix is 7/1 with Boylesports to do just that.

Cut The Mustard each-way value

Willie Mullins trained mare Cut The Mustard has run a string of fine races this season, so looks one to consider each-way in a trappy renewal.

Owned by Sullivan Bloodstock, this eight-year-old hasn’t been out of the first two in four chase starts.

She also ran well in a number of handicaps over hurdles during last season’s festivals on both sides of the Irish Sea.

The pick of her form in that sphere left the impression that Cut The Mustard could make up into a chaser.

That view was confirmed when she made a taking and winning bow over fences at Limerick in December. Cut The Mustard went clear in ready fashion from the last to score by 14 lengths.

This daughter of Al Namix then ran into the highly talented Elimay next time up in a Grade 2 contest over 2m 4f here.

Although Cut The Mustard was no match for the classy winner, she still stuck to the task well and chased her home to be beaten just nine lengths.

She resumed winning ways in the Listed 2m Opera Hat at Naas when again eased readily clear of her rivals to score by six lengths.

While Cut The Mustard was beaten by the re-opposing Sizing Pottsie in the Flyingbolt at Navan last time out, they meet off 7lb better terms.

It gives her a big shout of reversing that form on better ground than they last raced on.

With last week’s leading Cheltenham Festival rider Paul Townend again in the saddle, Cut The Mustard is 15/2 with Betfred and has claims of making the frame.

Top weight for Sizing Pottsie in Pierce Molony Memorial Novice Chase

Trainer Jessica Harrington may be in self-isolation, but is double-handed here courtesy of bottom weight Emily Moon and aforementioned top weight Sizing Pottsie.

The latter registered two quick-fire wins and cannot be discounted despite the welter burden. This Alan and Ann Potts Limited owned six-year-old is held in high regard by bookmakers and connections alike.

Sizing Pottsie is by Kapgarde, so bred to come into his own as a chaser and placed third on his two hurdle starts earlier in the season.

He was then sent chasing and unseated his rider on debut in this sphere at Leopardstown in the same race where Capuccimix did likewise.

However, Sizing Pottsie has learned plenty for that introduction to fences by bolting up at Fairyhouse next time up.

As he made all and won eased down, Sizing Pottsie was value for more than the official winning margin of 15 lengths.

He then followed-up by beating Cut The Mustard by 12 lengths in this grade. It means Sizing Pottsie has to carry a 6lb penalty in the Pierce Molony Memorial Novice Chase.

That is a tough ask, but he is one of the younger horses in the line-up and still relatively lightly-raced.

Robbie Power deserts Capuccimix for Sizing Pottsie, but is retained by the Potts family to ride their horses.

If he is to live up to the hype, then this horse needs to be running well in his hat-trick bid.

Sizing Pottsie just tops the Racing Post Ratings here – ahead of Zero Ten, Ministerforsport and Dallas Des Pictons. He is 5/2 with Paddy Power to win for the third time in a row.