Thursday 14 December 2017

Harpsy Cord to call Limerick tune

Limerick's two-day meeting gets under way this afternoon with a busy if unspectacular seven-race hurdle and bumper card.

While there is no real strength in depth to proceedings, all bar the opening conditions race and the bumper feature maximum fields, so the Munster venue's executive will be pleased with that ahead of what is a better card tomorrow. One horse that may add a bit of quality to today's fare is the Jim Dreaper-trained Harpsy Cord.

A winner of a Dromahane point-to-point in November, Harpsy Cord finished second to So Young -- favourite for next week's Neptune Investment Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham -- on his racecourse debut at Leopardstown. When he next ran at Punchestown at the end of January, the Accordion gelding was sent off favourite to build on his promising start.

However, third was the best he could manage that day, though he lost little in defeat behind the useful pair Raptor and Westmeath. The latter has since come out and won, and Harpsy Cord ought to do likewise now, with Shannon Spirit the obvious threat.

Edward O'Grady has two runners on the card, both of which will take all the beating. Rigidity should land short odds in the opener if he is as good as he looked on his debut at Gowran Park, while Tadhg gets the nod in the two-mile handicap hurdle.

A field of 18 is set to go to post here, with last week's Gowran runner-up Lucky Spring sure to be in the mix. Pat Martin's charge has been put up 3lbs for that, though, which leaves him worse off at the weights with Tadhg.

When the pair clashed at Thurles in January, O'Grady's horse finished a long way in front of Lucky Spring when third, so it's hard to see past him now.

In the first division of the Tote Daily Double Rollover Handicap Hurdle, Whiskey Hall can build on a fair effort over course and distance after Christmas.

Trained by local man Eric McNamara, Whiskey Hall kept on for a clear third that day, and the two that finished in front of him, Ardglen and Trendelenburg, have since won three times between them.

  • There will be a Cheltenham Festival preview on TG4 tonight at 8.10. Presented by Denis Kirwan, it will feature visits to the stables of Willie Mullins, Colm Murphy, Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson and Nigel Twiston-Davies. The show will be repeated on Monday night at 9.30.

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