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Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Runaway Galway festival winner Motherland returns

Joseph O'Brien: could have an Investec Derby contender on his hands in the shape of Ballysax winner Rekindling
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6.10 Tipperary Race | 1m4f | 4yo+ | ATR

Motherland, who trounced his rivals in a handicap over a slightly longer trip at the Galway festival in July, returns to action against eight rivals in this event which is confined to horses who have not won at Group or Listed level.

A son of Galileo and Group 1 winning sprinter Pipalong, the Joseph O'Brien-trained four-year-old has not run since his 17-length win at Galway which followed a maiden victory at Ballinrobe.

Thursday's race will be only the fifth of his career and O'Brien said on Wednesday: "Motherland had a little setback after Galway. He wasn't going to be a horse for the all-weather. so we gave him plenty of time off.

"He's ready to start back and is well treated by the race conditions, so we're hoping for a good run."

Dermot Weld runs Ezanak, the mount of Pat Smullen and a winner of a maiden over just short of 1m2f at Gowran Park on his debut a year ago, and the eight-year-old Tandem who has been off the track for 434 days.

"Ezanak ran well when fifth at Naas on his first start of the year. I'm expecting him to improve and to run a good race but he looks up against with Joseph O'Brien's horse at the weights. Tandem is a good horse but has been off a long time," Weld said.

Joe Murphy is represented by the versatile Swamp Fox, who won the Connacht Hotel Amateur Handicap at Galway last season when he also ran third in the Irish Cesarewitch. While Cash In Mind, a four-time winner in France and gelded since he last ran, makes his Irish debut for trainer Des Donovan.

Adimelo, who won three AQPS Flat races in France and a maiden hurdle at Roscommon almost two years ago, represents Alan Fleming, while the Jim Bolger-trained Mandatario, Benkei, who represents Harry Rogers, and the Johnny Levins-trained Brokopondo complete the line-up.

He's ready to start back and is well treated by the race conditions, so we're hoping for a good run
E.W. Terms
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