We start the day at Limerick where there is a excellent national hunt card with the feature the Munster National.
A two mile two furlong hurdle race starts off the card and while there are only four runners it could pay to follow the front two in the market for the season.
Guitar Pete and Clarcam are currently fighting it out for favouritism, with the former currently slightly shading the honour. Dessie Hughes horse was last seen finishing sixth behind a smart Willie Mullins hurdler at the Punchestown festival. I wouldn’t read too much into that as he had been on the go for twelve months. Now freshend up will surely go well and be challenging again towards the big spring festivals. It is also worth mentioning that Bryan Cooper is back in the saddle after a horror fall at The Festival and we at PicksfromthePaddock wish he a injury free season.
I will pass over Guitar Pete on this occasion as I feel that he won’t be able to give Clarcam nine pounds. The selection was travelling powerfully when taking up the lead in the Fred Winter until coming crashing down at the second last. He went on to confirm his well being when chasing home Guitar Pete in a Grade One at The Grand National meeting.
As mentioned he receives weight from the other three horses and Gordon Elliott’s horses are flying at present. Given the conditions of the race should be very hard to beat.
Plinth and The Plan Man will find it very hard to get involved here with Plinth chasing the front two home.
We pop over to the Curragh on Cesarewitch day and while we are not previewing that race mainly as I’ve been waiting all summer for this horse to run in the 15:10.
Current favourite for this six furlong sprint is Eddie Lynams filly Viztoria, she is a worthy favourite having already won at group level. However she has seemingly struggled this season and put a dismal performance in Deauville last time out. She could bounce back but at the prices I’m not willing to take a chance.
Flight Risk is still a maiden but is clearly well thought off, he has only had three runs and is open to improvement. The major worry I have is the trip. His first two runs over this distance and he seemed very one paced.
Ruwaiyan has been running well without winning recently in big handicap in the UK and has to be respected given the British raiders record in Ireland this year but he may find a couple her too good. Russian Soul falls into the same category been ultra consistent and should fall short.
The selection is Great Minds. Last seen winning a course and distance handicap at the Guineas Meeting in May. That day he had a poor draw but could be picked out as the winner a long way from home. With only five runs he is unexposed and in my opinion is a group winner in waiting. Concern in relation to the long break however he needs a bit of cut in the ground and conditions will be perfect. Both his wins have come at the Curragh and Tommy Stack is well able to have a horse ready from a break. He must have a great chance to make it a hat trick of wins at the Curragh.
Great Minds (E/W if 5/1+)
We head back to Limerick for their feature the Munster National. Usually works out as a good National to follow with last years winner Double Seven running a smashing race in defeat in the Aintree National.
Currently battling out at the top of the market are Bose Ikard and Shanpallas. The later was well punted when been sent off favourite in the Kerry National. He came up short that day and is three pounds higher today. Based on that and on jockey bookings doesn’t seem to be first string of JP McManus four horses.
The pick of these looks to be Tom Horn who is the selection of Paul Carberry, he would need to improve again after only winning a minor event at Sligo last time out. He is well in though as just has to carry the mandatory penalty. There is probably better handicapped horses in this field.
The selection is for Bose Ikard who takes his first step into handicap company over fences and has been thriving this year. Jockey booking is eyecatching with Ruby Walsh only having two rides in Limerick. He achieved an amazing feat when winning two races in twenty four hours in August. The second of those he beat I C Gold who has gone on to win twice. He has also recently beaten Please Talk and Kerry National winner Your Busy. The yard are flying and he could be well ahead of the handicapper.
Bose Ikard (WIN)
by David Weldon