Limerick Sunday – Obeaux can make sweet music in Munster National4 min read
14:25 – Irish Racing Wall Calendar Mares Handicap Hurdle
16:10 – PriceWaterhouseCooper Rated Steeplechase
Montalbano met Tombstone three times last season and failed to finish in front of that gelding, so it’s easy to assume that the Gigginstown horse will hold sway again. I’m going to suggest otherwise, however, and I think that Montalbano is best dominating lesser rivals, and struggled with his jumping as a novice last year when pitched into competitive races. He’s of similar merit to Tombstone, but probably needs to do things his own way to excel over fences, something he was able to do at Ballinrobe last month when jumping much better than has been the case. There is no pace in this race, and I wonder whether Paul Townend will look to make the running, something he did when landing his beginners’ chase at Gowran. If he jumps without blemish, as he should in a race where there should be no pace pressure, then he has an excellent chance of chalking up a first victory over his old rival.
16:45 JT MacNamara Ladbrokes Munster National
His second place in this contest last season sounds impressive enough, but when you consider he was trying to concede 16lb to the winner Total Recall, that performance from Alpha des Obeaux looks even better, and he pulled well clear of the others. He didn’t run in another handicap until contesting the Grand National at Aintree, where he travelled as well as anything before crashing out at The Chair. He resumes on a mark of 154, which looks very workable in last season’s form, and the switch to the Gordon Elliott yard from Mouse Morris can only be a positive. Such races tend to confer an advantage on the best horses due to the mechanics of the handicapping system (horses go up too much for winning, whereas those who are established in Graded company tend to remain fairly static); that means that you should never overlook the topweights in valuable handicaps, and Alpha des Obeaux could prove a cut above his rivals here.
Alpha des Obeaux