Muirhead's Munster plans hinge on Lingo
Noel Meade has suggested that Muirhead's bid for back-to-back successes in Sunday's Ladbrokes.com Munster National at Limerick could depend on whether or not the Galway Plate-winning top-weight Bob Lingo stands its ground.
Successful in a conditions race at Galway in September, last year's winner of the €80,000 handicap chase is rated 9lb higher than when readily scoring 12 months ago, and was allotted 11st when the weights were unveiled yesterday.
If Bob Lingo isn't declared for the three-miler tomorrow, Muirhead and Gordon Elliott's Carlito Brigante could be left with joint top-weight of 11st 10lb, but Tom Mullins hinted on Tuesday that he was leaning towards running Bob Lingo. "If the top-weight stays in, everything will be okay," Meade confirmed of his nine-year-old's participation, "but if he comes out then we'll have to see whether he'll run. He is in terrific form, though."
Muirhead is second-favourite to double up with the sponsors at 8/1 behind Eric McNamara's Kerry National runner-up Questions Answered, which trades at 7/1.
The Navan handler's Cross Appeal (12/1) also features among the 31 entries, while the JP McManus-owned Bob Lingo is a best priced 10/1 to secure another big handicap.
Adrian Maguire's 2010 winner Golden Kite can be backed at 12/1 with both Paddy Power and Boylesports.
Off the track since November until making a successful reappearance over flights at Galway a month ago, Golden Kite (10st 1lb) has dropped to the same mark of 128 that he obliged off under Shane Hassett two years ago.
Mullins has also put in Fosters Cross, though he may tackle Sunday's Hacketts Bookmakers Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh instead.
In the Pricewaterhousecoopers Chase on the same Limerick card, prolific mares Blazing Tempo and Knockfierna are among 10 possible starters, along with Rathlin, last term's classy novice.
Meade also had news of Monksland, which suffered a first defeat in four starts when third to Simonsig at Cheltenham in March.
"The plan is to go over fences with him," he said. "He'll be out in about three weeks' time, and we're looking at a two-and-a-half-mile beginners' chase at somewhere like Navan or Punchestown. He is in good shape."
Aidan O'Brien's Kingsbarns was introduced into the betting at around 14/1 for the 2013 Investec Derby after an impressive victory in the EBF Maiden at Navan.
Having settled nicely for Joseph O'Brien, he moved up stylishly before hitting the front two furlongs out and drew clear without being asked a serious question to beat Risk Return by seven lengths.
Go Native made an eye-catching return to the track when third to Glam Gerry in the October Maiden.
Meanwhile, Tuesday's lost jumps card at Tipperary has been rescheduled for Monday, October 22, while the Curragh will hold a Flat meeting next Tuesday in lieu of the one that fell at Tipperary on Monday.