Silver Chief has class to seal Limerick double for Winters
Published 05/07/2014 | 02:30
Mick Winters may not have his incredible mare Missunited to draw on over jumps any longer, but he sends three horses to tomorrow's National Hunt spread at Limerick and it would be no surprise were he depart with more than one winner.
The inimitable Kanturk, Co Cork-based handler now has Goodwood rather than Galway in mind for the heroine of last year's Ballybrit feature after she further enhanced her value as a broodmare with that gallant Gold Cup third at Ascot.
In truth, it's not surprising that Vanessa Hutch's dual Group One-placed homebred is deemed too valuable to risk over flights before departing to stud next year.
Still, jump racing will always be Winters' first love and Silver Chief is another of his mares that warrants the nap vote at the Munster venue.
A winner here on the Flat in the spring, the eight-year-old grey performed consistently to a mark of around 100 over hurdles and she lost little in defeat when second on her last two chasing starts, most recently behind Shake The Bucket at Wexford.
Silver Chief drops slightly in trip to an extended two miles for this mares' beginners' chase, but that isn't expected to inconvenience her against moderate opposition under rising star Johnny Burke.
Winters' Jansboy reverts to hurdles in the two-mile-five-furlong handicap, having been placed in three starts over fences since he won for a second time on the spin here in October.
While Jansboy is 5lbs higher now, the useful claimer Pierce Gallagher cancels that out, so he must have a chance in what is ultimately a pretty open affair.
Finny Maguire takes the reins aboard Missed Cloud in the bumper. As a son of former riding giant Adrian and Winters' nephew, it is maybe no surprise that the 7lb claimer has already shown a bundle of potential.
He has another opportunity to showcase his immense talent here, as Missed Cloud ought to have a big say if she reproduces the standard of performance that saw her finish second in a Tramore maiden hurdle last time.
Burke might also double up when he partners A Decent Excuse for Eugene O'Sullivan. The Tote-sponsored handicap chase that he contests is a highly competitive affair, with the hat-trick-seeking Rohan's Pride lumped with top-weight on its handicap bow after two ready hunter chase victories.
There are plenty others with decent recent form, but A Decent Excuse is one of the more progressive around, having looked as though he was coming to himself when getting off the mark over fences at Thurles in November.
He has since won off a 5lb higher mark over the smaller obstacles, so he has the scope to defy the same hike now that he goes back chasing.
Davy Russell could get among the winners aboard Pat Fahy's talented Donatis Comet in the maiden hurdle and Charles Byrnes' Shanpallas in the conditions chase.
Liam Cusack's Roman General appeals under Ger Fox in the Seamus Mulvaney Crockafatha Handicap Hurdle on the final day of Bellewstown's July gala.
A Tipperary maiden winner that was placed behind Sea Light at Leopardstown over Christmas, the top-weight is fancied to be just too good for his nine rivals.