Irish Eyes: Back the Babe
Our Irish Eyes column picks out the best bets from this afternoon's cards at Limerick and Navan.
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Having emerged from the Cheltenham festival as Leading Trainer for the third time in four years, Willie Mullins bids to continue his fantastic season this afternoon with two runners at both Navan and Limerick.
Urticaire and Milsean represent him at Limerick and both hold excellent chances of scoring. Milsean gets the nap vote however to recover the losses incurred when he was beaten favourite at Naas on his last start.
He failed to concede five pounds to the top-class No More Heroes on that occasion but was a full eight lengths clear of the third horse that day and he faces nothing of the calibre of No More Heroes here today.
Mozoltov (also now owned by Gigginstown) won this race two years ago for the same father and son combination of Willie and Patrick Mullins and interestingly, he too finished second in the same Naas bumper as Milsean before taking this race, so the team are following a familiar but successful path.
Milsean was put away with this race in mind and has been working well since. Stamina is his forte, as we have mentioned previously when discussing his pedigree and whilst he is likely to be short, he looks the best bet of the day.
Robert Tyner has his string in tremendous order, so much so that he currently boasts a 50% strike-rate of winners to runners, courtesy of four winners from his last eight runners.
He saddles five runners at Limerick today but Byerley Babe really takes the eye in the Grade 2 Dawn Run Mares Novice Chase. She has already won a Grade 2 event which means she has to concede five pounds to the rest of the field today and she bids to become only the third mare to do so successfully in the last ten years.
That being as it may, her form suggests she is a class above the mares she faces here today and she should fend off the others. Her Grade 2 win came at Thurles over two-and-a-half miles and she just failed to catch the talented Avondhu Lady over two miles on her latest start. The step back up in trip to two miles and six furlongs at the track where she won both her maiden hurdle and her beginners chase should see her record a third victory in as many starts at Greenmount Park.
Up at Navan, Blissful Moment gets the each-way nod in the €50,000 EBF Novice Handicap Chase Final. Noel Meade's horses seem to be emerging from the doldrums and Very Wood's win in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham on Friday could not have come at a better time. Blissful Moment is a pound out of the handicap here but has a lovely racing weight of 9-10 with David Casey on board.
Next Best: Byerley Babe, 3.40 Limerick
Each-way: Blissful Moment, 4.35 Navan.