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Inis Meain can finally repay Connell's faith

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23 April 2013; Jockey Danny Mullins after winning the Growise Champion Novice Steeplechase on Mount Benbulben. Punchestown Racecourse, Punchestown, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

23 April 2013; Jockey Danny Mullins after winning the Growise Champion Novice Steeplechase on Mount Benbulben. Punchestown Racecourse, Punchestown, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

23 April 2013; Jockey Danny Mullins after winning the Growise Champion Novice Steeplechase on Mount Benbulben. Punchestown Racecourse, Punchestown, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Inis Meain hasn't lived up to expectations since being acquired by Barry Connell in the autumn, but he is still trusted to justify the nap vote for Danny Mullins at Limerick tomorrow.

A four-time winner on the level last year, Denis Hogan's six-year-old posted what was probably a career-best effort to be second to Parish Hall in the Alleged Stakes at the Curragh last month. Inis Meain clearly isn't done improving yet, so tomorrow's Martin Moloney Listed Stakes should be within his range on slow ground that he enjoys.

The likes of Chicago, Missunited and Pastilla add depth to the €40,000 12-furlong contest, though Pastilla's Jim Bolger-trained stablemate An Saincheann may be the selection's main threat. Third to Famous Name at Leopardstown in the autumn, the four-year-old filly was a 13-length winner on her reappearance at Gowran Park, so she won't be easily denied.

Chicago's trainer Pat Shanahan could take the three-year-old mile maiden with Hold The Line, a fair sort that came up just short when denied by Diesel Ten and Pay Day Kitten on its initial two outings this term. With Pay Day Kitten following up off a mark of 81 in handicap company at Tipperary on Wednesday, that form reads better than anything else on offer here. As a sister to Dimenticata, Tommy Stack's debutant Charlotte Rua is one to monitor in the market.

In the four-year-old-plus equivalent, Andy Oliver, , who got off the mark for 2013 with Above The Law at Dundalk last night, has a real chance with the Dermot Weld cast-off Muntasaf.

Denied by a nose on its only previous outing at Listowel in September, the well-bred son of Acclamation was subsequently bought by Oliver for 10,000gns. Time will tell, but he could look a real bargain by the close of play tomorrow.

Over jumps at Sligo, Davy Condon might be the man to keep on side. The in-form Cork rider has some cracking mounts, kicking proceedings off aboard Gordon Elliott's Torn Asunder in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Hurdle.

Dr Machini, a comfortable winner here for Willie Mullins when last seen 12 months ago, has a 7lb pull at the weights in the four-runner heat, but Torn Asunder appeals as a more robust sort.

While the son of Presenting is dropping back to two miles, he has the class to be comfortable over that trip.

Condon could bag another victory on an Elliott-trained, Gigginstown House Stud-owned runner when he partners Shattered Dream in the Kilcawley Construction Handicap Hurdle, while Silver Tassie gets the nod in the Kennedy's Bar Maiden Hurdle.

Placed in bumpers in the autumn, Noel Meade's five-year-old will be suited by some slightly drier ground than he encountered last time out.

Like Condon, young Declan Lavery is another jockey enjoying a purple patch and he can land the mares' maiden hurdle aboard Honey Bach.

The bumper looks a strong heat with Blow The Doors Off sure to attract support in the wake of his fine third at Fairyhouse, but the Mullins-trained Totally Dominant is taken to go one better than its second to Grecian Tiger at Naas back in January.

Irish Independent