Mullins' Meri Devie poised to strike in Limerick feature
Meri Devie looks to have been provided with a good opportunity to get back to winning ways in the feature Grade Three Irish Independent Hurdle (2.10) at Limerick.
The Willie Mullins-trained filly was a good second in a €100,000 handicap at Fairyhouse earlier in the month and looks well treated by the race conditions.
Owned by Andrea and Graham Wylie, Meri Devie will be ridden for the first time by Danny Mullins, and his uncle Willie is expecting a good performance from the pair.
He said: "She looks to be very well treated by the race conditions and she comes here in good form.
"It was a good effort from her the last day when she came second in a big handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse and I'd be very positive about her chances of going one better."
Gavin Cromwell, who struck in the big Grade Two juvenile hurdle at Leopardstown two days ago with Espoir D'Allen, is more hopeful than confident that his charge Prospectus can land a blow and rates Meri Devie as the one to beat.
He said: "Willie's mare (Meri Devie) looks well in but Prospectus will love that ground and he's entitled to have a go."
Us And Them, unbeaten in two starts over hurdles, represents Joseph O'Brien and the trainer said of his charge: "He has really stepped up since he's gone hurdling and he's won his last two starts well.
"He's been busy of late and I am hopeful that he's still improving. The fact that he's won on heavy ground will be a help as well. He seems to be in very good form and we're happy with him."
Tom Taaffe, who will forever be associated for his handling of 2005 Gold Cup winner Kicking King, looks to have a decent chance of recording a festive winner with Riders On The Storm in the opening maiden hurdle (12.35).
Elsewhere on the card, Montana Belle has solid claims in the rated novice chase (1.10) for the in-form stable of Henry de Bromhead while Epicuris looks a very interesting recruit to hurdling for Mullins (2.45).
A Group One-winning two-year-old, who was fifth behind Golden Horn in the Derby two seasons ago, Epicuris was snapped up by Rich Ricci for 140,000gns at the sales and will be well fancied to make a winning start to his new career.