Moonshine Lad has spirit to carry on festive cheer
IT'S one of the worst times of year to be injured for a jockey but Moonshine Lad can carry on the festive cheer for racegoers at Limerick today.
My recovery from a broken knee is ongoing and I'm out of the cast three weeks now and I'm just wearing a brace on it at the moment.
I've an appointment early in the new year and I hope that I'll get the okay to be back riding by the end of January which is quicker than first anticipated.
It's the longest time I've spent on the sidelines yet, but the injury might have been worse as the surgeon explained to me that the ligaments were largely unharmed and that means I should be out for exactly three months when I eventually return, which was better than initially forecast.
The last few weeks have been filled with physio sessions and rehab and apart from going to Navan for Troytown day, I haven't been to much racing since the injury because it's a bit frustrating not to be involved. But anyone going to Limerick today should give Moonshine Lad serious consideration. He's my nap for the day and I think Gordon Elliott really fancies him in this one too.
The big race of the day in Limerick is the novice chase at 2.45 and Felix Yonger is the one that catches my eye.
Willie Mullins' charge has looked the part all year in winning his last three outings and I think they'll all be following him home again.
There's another action-packed card in Leopardstown where action gets under way at 12.20 and Clondaw Court looks the right bet here. He's won on both his outings so far and I think he's better than anything he's going against there.
In the 12.50, Noel Meade's Chancol deserves respect but I think he might need further than two miles so Wrath of Titans for Davy Russell and Dessie Hughes gets my vote. He looked like he struggled a little bit on the ground on his last run but the going in Leopardstown should suit him much better.
In the juvenile hurdle at 1.20, Willie Mullins looks like he has another big chance with Analifet. The classy French import has streaked home in her last two runs and looks to be better than the rest.
Paul Carberry and Gordon Elliott team up with Not For Changing in the handicap hurdle at 1.50 and form is important here. The fact the seven-year-old won last month in Fairyhouse suggests he's coming good at the right time.
The novice handicap chase looks a very difficult one to call but at a push I'll take a chance on Elegant Statesman and Mark Walsh. Nex op is the feature event of the day, the Grade One novice chase at 2.55, and this should see Willie and Ruby Walsh team up for more big-race success with Champagne Fever.
He lived up to favouritism in Punchestown last month and looks to have enough in his locker to deliver here.
The action closes with the bumper at 3.30 and, after running into second twice last month, The Herds Garden can land the spoils for Noel Meade.
12.20 Clondaw Court
12.50 Wrath Of Titans
1.50 Not For Changing
2.20 Elegant Statesman
2.55 Champagne Fever
3.30 The Herds Garden
1.05 Moonshine Lad (Nap)
2.45 Felix Yonger