Thursday 14 December 2017

Jezki on course for Gowran duel with returning Limini

Jezki heads eight contenders for Saturday’s Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park. Stock image
Jezki heads eight contenders for Saturday’s Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park. Stock image

Thomas Kelly

Jezki heads eight contenders for Saturday's Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park.

Winner of the 2014 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, Jessica Harrington's charge returned from an absence of more than 20 months to win at Navan in January.

Harrington, who won the race with Macs Joy in 2006, also has Ttebbob in the €45,000 event, while Gordon Elliott has two possibles in Sutton Place, winner of the Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas two weeks ago, and Tombstone, which was third behind Jezki last time.

Willie Mullins looks set to rely on Limini, winner of the Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham last March. She then finished third in a Grade One at Aintree before claiming second at the highest level at Punchestown, but has been off the track since then.

Owner Rich Ricci is eager to see the six-year-old return to action. "Limini was a big talking horse this time last year and justified that reputation with a win at Cheltenham," he told his RTÉ blog.

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"She has taken a while to come to hand this season, not dissimilar to last year, but is right back to herself now and seems a lot stronger."

Colin Kidd has entered Rashaan, which accounted for classy pair Apple's Jade and Petit Mouchoir at Down Royal in November, while the Ronnie O'Leary-trained Rory O'Moore and Adrian Joyce's Rock On Rosie complete the entries.

Elliott is responsible for four of the seven entries for the Grade Two Red Mills Chase with Ball D'Arc, which won the Dan Moore Memorial Chase last time, heading the contenders. Clarcam, Realt Mor and Roi Des Francs could also represent the trainer who is chasing a second win in the race following Chicago Grey in 2013. Mullins has entered Ballycasey.

Identity Thief could try to get his Cheltenham challenge back on track in Sunday's Flyingbolt Novice Chase at Navan.

Henry de Bromhead's charge looked set to be among the leading lights in the novice chase division when winning on his debut at Punchestown, before making a successful step-up to Grade Two level in November.


However, Identity Thief's season has since been derailed after he pulled up in a Grade One at Leopardstown at Christmas, before unseating in the Irish Arkle. He is one of three entries for Gigginstown Stud, along with Noel Meade's Road To Respect and the Elliott-trained Ball D'Arc, though he could run on Saturday.

The Grade Two Ladbrokes Ireland Boyne Hurdle has drawn a field of 13 possibles - including the Mullins pair of Renneti and Thomas Hobson along with Monksland, Hidden Cyclone, Milsean and the Harrington duo Supasundae and Ttebbob.

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