Classy Limini gives Mullins Festival poser
Willie Mullins left the door slightly ajar for Limini to run in the Champion Hurdle at next month's Cheltenham Festival following an impressive comeback victory at Punchestown.
Winner of the inaugural Trull House Stud Mares Novices' Hurdle at Prestbury Park last March, the six-year-old appeared to have plenty on her plate for her belated seasonal reappearance, with former stablemate Apple's Jade setting the standard, having beaten Vroum Vroum Mag in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle.
The Gordon Elliott-trained Apple's Jade was the 2/5 favourite under Bryan Cooper and travelled well for much of the Quevega Mares Hurdle. However, Ruby Walsh edged 3/1 chance Limini closer from the home turn and she showed the superior turn of foot to prevail by two lengths.
Mullins said: "I don't know what way to take that run, but Apple's Jade is a triple Grade One-winning mare and Ruby never even stirred on our mare - he just gave her a shake-up going to the last."
Limini was promoted to around 7/4 favouritism for the OLBG Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham, ahead of last year's winner Vroum Vroum Mag and Apple's Jade.
Mullins said: "Nothing is ever set in stone - this is me you're talking to! We were aiming for the Mares' Hurdle, this might open up other options."