LIMERICK Sat: We’re heading to Limerick on Saturday for a seven-race card which features two Listed races; the Cailin Alainn Mares’ Hurdle and the Rathsallagh Country House Novice Hurdle.
⭕ Kicking off the action is a four-year-olds’ two-mile maiden hurdle (2.05pm). On this wet weekend, the going is likely to be particularly testing, so form on soft ground or an appropriate pedigree could be a most valuable consideration. Bred for the Flat, Cut The Rope won his debut bumper by two lengths on soft ground last season and starts over hurdles here, so could show up well. There’s no looking past Willie Mullins’ A Penny A Hundred, however, for the best winning claims as the filly beat subsequent winner Hypersonic Missile in a bumper on soft ground by over five lengths on debut in August.
⭕ Next is a two-mile handicap hurdle (2.40pm). Cosmic Rock, a course and distance winner on heavy ground back in 2021, hasn’t been seen on the racecourse for 756 days but – if still as effective as he was aged seven, could be one to watch in these conditions. The more in-practice Derridae, now with a run under her belt this season, may have better winning claims in this company having gone well on testing ground over this trip in previous seasons.
⭕ Race three is the first of our Listed contests; the Cailin Alainn Mares’ Hurdle over 2m6½f (3.15pm). Iriskana has been well-raced through the summer months but preferred the soft ground at Roscommon last time out, winning by over seven lengths. She stays well, as shown when the close runner-up in a mares’ maiden hurdle at Tramore in August over 2m5f, and can take advantage of being bottom-weight here. Close Enough looks to have a chance too.
⭕ Following that contest is our second Listed race; the 2m5f Rathsallagh Country House Novice Hurdle (3.50pm). This race appears to have plenty of depth, despite only having a small field, as four of the five runners have multiple recent wins to their names. Henry De Bromhead’s promising four-year-old Mayor’s Walk won impressively on her Rules debut last month, but might struggle in these conditions. Willie Mullins’ High Class Hero has won all starts under Rules and won a three-mile point-to-point well on soft as a four-year-old. Proven on the ground and over the trip, he should be the one to beat.
⭕ Race five is a 2m5f maiden hurdle (4.21pm). Larkfield Lusive, with a seven-pound claimer in the saddle, ran creditably for fifth place on heavy ground last time out and could improve on that run here, but Jullou De Grissay looks to have the strongest winning claims after a respectable fourth place in testing ground last time out, and is also given seven pounds by his rider.
⭕ Next is a 2m5f handicap hurdle (4.56pm). Ishan could build on his last run, having needed a few runs to get his best results in the past, but the improving Church Lane – whose best form has been on soft ground and who wasn’t beaten far when placing last time out over a furlong further – could take another step forward and be our winner.
⭕ Our final race of the day is a two-mile bumper (5.31pm). Ma Belle Etiole can be expected to improve on her eye-catching racecourse debut three weeks ago and will likely benefit from the run. She has strong winning claims. Only By Night is one to watch in the market on her first outing for Gavin Cromwell.