Clonmel Racecourse have announced details of this year’s Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Steeplechase. It is due to take place at Powerstown Park on Thursday 17th November. This will be the 20th year of sponsorship by Clonmel Oil.
The Clonmel Oil Chase has an illustrious roll of honour with two Cheltenham Gold Cup heroes in Imperial Call and War Of Attrition and two Champion Chase winners Edredon Bleu and Sizing Europe among those to have used the race as part of their build-up to success at the highest level. Then there was dual Cheltenham scorer Douvan, a six-time Grade 1 winner over fences during a magnificent career, who bowed out on a high when comfortably taking this race on what proved to be his final outing. The 2021 renewal race was won by the Joseph O’Brien trained Fakir D’Oudairies which followed up his Clonmel Oil Chase success with Grade 1 wins at Ascot and Aintree.
It may come as a surprise to learn that the Grade 2 contest has produced 13 Grade 1 winners over fences in the last 10 years. It’s a very good early season pointer and the timing of the race is key to it. Most of the horses have got a run under their belt and it’s perfectly timed for Christmas. It comes at a great time for trainers to give their horses a run before the big festive races and then kick on. For the previous winners to have achieved what they have done is a very positive advertisement for the race. Clonmel is a fair test and the trip of two and a half miles is ideal for horses that don’t want to stretch themselves any further at this early stage of the season.
Willie Mullins is the most successful trainer in the race’s history. He won three-in-a-row from 2018 – 2020 with Kemboy, Douvan and Bachasson. He recently indicated that stable stars, dual Ryanair Chase winner Allaho and the exciting six year old Galopin Des Champs are possible runners in this year’s race. What an attraction either of those would be if they were to make their seasonal debut at Clonmel on November 17th.
Clonmel Oil, who will be holding a race card draw during racing for a €100 fuel voucher, are sponsoring three other races on the card. The afternoon will also feature the TA Morris Memorial Irish EBF Listed Mares Chase and the Connolly’s Red Mills Irish EBF Auction Maiden Hurdle. The action gets underway at 12.40pm with the I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle.
Admission is only €15 (OAP €10) and can be paid on the day or tickets can be pre-purchased via www.clonmelraces.ie . There will be live music in the Club Stand Bar after racing until approximately 5.30pm. All in all in promises to be a great afternoon of National Hunt racing at one of the most picturesque racecourses in the country.