HRI: Weekly Racing News

Limerick Racing News

Croom veteran Andrew McNamara enjoyed a New Year’s Day winner as Kilderry Prince landed the handicap chase at Tramore on Tuesday. Ridden by local amateur Sheila Ahern, the 20/1 chance won by two and quarter lengths from Gotaway. 

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A crowd of 5,610 was in attendance on the biggest day of the year at Naas on Sunday where Gordon Elliott was the big winner as the exciting Battleoverdoyen impressed in the Grade 1 Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle. It was pretty straightforward for the 2/1 favourite which remains unbeaten after recording a two-and-three-quarter length success over Sams Profile under Jack Kennedy. Connections might well give the six-year-old another run before the Cheltenham Festival in March.

It was a fourth victory in the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle for owners Gigginstown House Stud and the winners is a 6/1 chance for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.

“He’s a nice horse and really he’s a chaser, he’s still only a baby but I really like him,” Elliott said.

“He’ll have all the good entries for the rest of the season, but I don’t want to kill him as he only a baby and Jack said he is still only learning. In terms of Cheltenham we’ll see what the ground is like and what Michael and Eddie (O’Leary) would like to do with him but I don’t see any reason why he won’t be going there. He’s got plenty to learn still but he’s good.” 

A step up to Grade 1 level at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown is next for Articulum who booked his place in the Irish Arkle when winning the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Chase. Second on debut over fences to Getabird, Articulum proved too good for Campeador to go one better on this occasion for trainer Terence O’Brien and jockey David Mullins.

“We’ve always thought that he was a very good horse,” O’Brien admitted. “Hopefully he’ll head on to Leopardstown next month for the Arkle. David said he had plenty of horse left at the end and I think there is more improvement in him. He started off last season in a blaze of glory but then it all petered out, so we’ve done things a little differently with him this season and the horses are healthier which helps.”

Meri Devie, having her first start for trainer Paul Nolan was a good winner of the Irish Stallion Farms Mares Beginners Chase with jockey Bryan Cooper up. Noel Meade continued a good weekend when winning the INH Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle with Valdieu to set up a double on the card for big race winning owners Gigginstown House Stud.

Racecourse manager Tom Ryan commented: “Today was a fantastic start to our year here at Naas Racecourse. We had an increased attendance on last year and I think we saw a very good winner of the Grade 1 Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle in Battleoverdoyen. He certainly looks to be a horse with a big career ahead of him and we are very grateful to Lawlor’s Of Naas for their continued support of our Grade 1 race. With big crowds, great racing, brilliant atmosphere and a hotly contested Best Dressed Lady competition it really was a day to remember for everyone here at Naas.”

Upcoming Fixtures

Clonmel – Thursday, January 10 (First Race 12.15)

Dundalk – Friday, January 11 (First Race 5.30)

Fairyhouse – Saturday, January 12 (First Race 12.25)

Punchestown – Sunday, January 13 (First Race 12.40)

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Jack Neville