Returning Dicosimo to set standard at Limerick
An inclement weather forecast means that this afternoon's Limerick card is subject to an 8.0 course inspection this morning.
Should it get the all-clear, each of the seven scheduled races will doubtless be wars of attrition. With that in mind, Dicosimo is fancied to excel in the €26,000 Irish Independent Hurdle .
The champion trainer Willie Mullins also has an interesting newcomer in Bamako Moriviere in the Listed two-miler. He could be anything, but Dicosimo has looked pretty smart in deep ground.
He won on it at Auteuil in October 2014 before then sluicing up on his debut for Mullins in a decent contest at Gowran Park in January. Then at Cheltenham in March, he ran well for a long way before the drier conditions saw the principals gallop by him in the straight.
Come Fairyhouse, Dicosimo did underperform slightly. However, bearing in mind that he clearly goes well fresh, he has considerable appeal under Danny Mullins now.
Aidan O'Brien's Tigris River is possibly the danger. He was impressive here in October, and he has the scope to keep progressing, as does Theophilus.
Des McDonogh's four-year-old won on his sole previous outing over flights at Leopardstown a year ago. He ran well enough when last seen in the October Handicap, so it will be interesting to see what the market makes of him now.
Mullins' Berry Des Aulmes is another French import in the opening four-year-olds' maiden hurdle. Again, he could be anything, but preference here is for Ball D'Arc.
Gordon Elliott's Gigginstown Stud-owned representative was a beaten favourite when second to Coney Island at Navan and then made an early exit at Leopardstown on Saturday. He is beginning to look frustrating, but he was very impressive in a Thurles bumper on his reappearance.
At this stage, Ball D'Arc warrants the benefit of the doubt, so he is trusted to get Kevin Sexton's day off to a flying start.
Sexton and Elliott could also have a big say with Chatham House Rule in the Cube Beginners' Chase. He unseated four-out when clear on his Punchestown fencing debut, but he has won here in deep ground before, so he should run well if his jumping holds up.
Mullins' Rolly Baby and Kieran Purcell's Run For Firth are others to consider. Still, preferred is Henry De Bromhead's Domesday Book under man of the moment Andrew Lynch.
A decent novice hurdler last season, this Street Cry five-year-old was running well when left a slightly fortuitous third behind Walk To Freedom at Navan first time up.
Domesday Book seems to relish a test and looks to be heading in the right, so he will be hard to beat now.
In the veterans' handicap chase, a chance is taken on Pauline Gavin's top-weighted Ad Idem. This 11-runner affair is as open as you would expect it to be, and Ad Idem has never won as much as might have been expected.
Nonetheless, he has run quite well on his last few starts, most recently when seventh to Sumos Novios at Punchestown. If he performs to a similar level here under Brian Hayes, he ought to be thereabouts.
John Joe Walsh, fresh from yesterday's double at the track, could get among the winners again with Nine Stitches in the Mr Binman Maiden Hurdle. Brian O'Connell's partner has run well in better company, so he might be able to get off the mark in what isn't a great race.
Robert Tyner's Fade In might be the one to keep on side in the handicap hurdle. A bumper winner here in similar conditions three years ago, the nine-year-old mare ran her best race for some time when fifth to Oscar Time at Punchestown.