1.20 BetVictor Hurdle 2m 50yds
Instit, who is somewhat of an unknown quantity after just the one run in France, could literally be anything.
Willie Mullins introduces some of his nicer juveniles at this venue and as a totally unexposed filly having her first start for new connections she has to be respected. The betting market should provide a fair guide as to the confidence behind this daughter of Saint Des Saints.
Calvados should appreciate this easier track, having looked all over a winner before being caught close home at Naas last time. A winner at Ballinrobe earlier in the season, she has plenty of experience, even managing to pick up some blacktype at Aintree in December.
Next Best: Calvados
1.55 Irish Wire Products Irish EBF Shannon Spray Mares Novice Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 6f
Brampton Belle looked a smart mare when beating a higher-rated rival at Navan last time. She still remains an unexposed lightly-raced individual who may have further scope for improvement.
Henry de Bromhead has few equals when it coming to campaigning mares and with the yard now back firing on all cylinders, she has to be given every chance. Limerick Lace, a maiden hurdle winner at Punchestown last time, is also lightly raced with the potential to improve. Representing J.P. McManus, she will have had this prize as a target for some time.
SELECTION: BRAMPTON BELLE
Next Best: Limerick Lace
2.30 BetVictor Maiden Hurdle 3m
Eye Van, although still a maiden at the age of eight, sets a fair standard. While the form of his Grade 3 second at Cork last time may not be the strongest, his overall profile suggests he should be good enough to take this contest.
Fourth in a Grade 2 hurdle here over Christmas, he has also been second in a maiden hurdle at the track, so clearly enjoys the Limerick terrain.
Angels Dawn finished ahead of Eye Van when third in the aforementioned Grade 2 hurdle. However, a mistake at the last didn’t help the Gunn-trained horse and on the balance of form he may just have the edge.
Despite that, the Sam Curling-trained mare holds serious claims and should not be discounted.
SELECTION: EYE VAN
Next Best: Angels Dawn
3.05 Croom Handicap Hurdle (Div l) 2m 6f
Native Gold should be hard to beat in what appears to be an ordinary affair. The eight-year-old chased home a stablemate at Navan on his handicap debut last time and a similar effort should be good enough. With just the five career starts he is open to plenty of improvement and unless there is something lurking lower down the handicap then he really ought to be winning.
Mick The Jiver, although now entering the veteran stages, remains in excellent form and is well treated over hurdles and he looks the chief threat.
SELECTION: NATIVE GOLD
Next Best: Mick The Jiver
3.40 Croom Handicap Hurdle (Div ll) 2m 6f
Captain Jimmy, a winner over fences at Galway in October, should have more to offer back over hurdles. The nine-year-old, who has also been placed over flights, ran one of his better races when fifth at this track last March. Philip Donovan is great value for his 5lbs claim and can steer the Pat Kelly-trained gelding to win.
Ask And Answer has to be viewed as a serious threat having hit form in recent weeks. The mare won at Navan last month and was not done with when carried out at Clonmel last time. She also boasts a higher rating over fences so might still have something in hand.
SELECTION: CAPTAIN JIMMY
Next Best: Ask And Answer
4.15 Book Online At www.limerickraces.ie Beginners Chase 2m 1f 160yds
El Barra look the safest choice, although she wasn’t the best of these over hurdles. The form of her two starts over fences has worked out really well, as she couldn’t have done much more when chasing home a trio of very smart novices. It will be disappointing if she can’t collect.
Soviet Pimpernel was a higher-rated hurdler than the Mullins mare but has yet to convince over fences. Perhaps a return to the track that saw her win a Grade 3 hurdle will see him in a better light. If he were to get her jumping together then he would be a danger.
SELECTION: EL BARRA
Next Best: Soviet Pimpernel
4.50 BetVictor Handicap Chase 3m 120yds
Wishmoor, who has been a real credit to connections over the last two years, looks to have his ideal conditions. The switch to Johnny Levins has really transformed the 12-year-old’s fortunes and he seldom runs a bad race. The form of his latest fifth at Navan can be upgraded as he was inconvenienced by the drying conditions. With plenty rain forecast over the weekend, he has everything in his favour.
Sovereign Gold has yet to replicate her strong point-to-point form over fences but is another who appreciates a test. Provided she doesn’t get into a battle for the lead early on, then she is a live candidate for the main prize.
Next Best: Sovereign Gold
5.25 Adare (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race 2m
Hunters Yarn can take this finale for the Willie Mullins yard. A bumper winner for Pat Doyle last March, he was subsequently sold and sent to the champion trainer. Although beaten at short odds on his stable debut over hurdles, he is afforded another chance now.
Grand Suir, a point-to-point winner at Lingstown in December, is interesting on his racecourse debut. Bought by John McConnell in the wake of that impressive win, he is thoroughly unexposed and will appreciate the testing conditions.
SELECTION: HUNTERS YARN
Next Best: Grand Suir