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Gerri Colombe and Kilcruit are set to go head-to-head on Monday in the feature race on the opening day of the 2022 Limerick Christmas Festival

/, Uncategorised/Gerri Colombe and Kilcruit are set to go head-to-head on Monday in the feature race on the opening day of the 2022 Limerick Christmas Festival

Gerri Colombe and Kilcruit are set to go head-to-head on Monday in the feature race on the opening day of the 2022 Limerick Christmas Festival

Press Release

Gerri Colombe and Kilcruit are set to go head-to-head on Monday in the feature race on the opening day of the 2022 Limerick Christmas Festival, the Grade 1 Guinness Faugheen Novice Chase.

Gerri Colombe has never been beaten.  Winner of his only point-to-point for Colin Bowe in March 2020, the Saddler Maker gelding won his two bumpers after he joined Gordon Elliott and he won his two novice hurdles last season.  On his debut this season, in a beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse last month, he jumped well and he stayed on strongly to win nicely.

That was his first run in a steeplechase, and it was his first run in 10 months, so there is every chance that he will progress for the run.  Gordon Elliott’s horse goes well on soft ground, and he stays the two-and-a-half-mile trip well.  The mount of Jordan Gainford, he has the potential to progress to take a high ranking among the staying novice chasers this season.

Kilcruit also looked very good in winning his beginners’ chase on his chasing debut this season.  Willie Mullins’ horse was a top-class bumper horse a couple of seasons ago, winning three of his five bumpers and finishing second behind his stable companion Sir Gerhard in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in 2021, before coming back to Ireland and winning the Champion Bumper at Punchestown six weeks later.

The Stowaway gelding only won one of his five races over hurdles last season, a maiden hurdle at Punchestown last January, but he was impressive in winning his beginners’ chase over almost two and a half miles at Punchestown last month.  His jumping was good, and he won easily, with more in hand than the nine-and-a-half-length winning margin.

Sean O’Keeffe is set to ride Kilcruit, whose trainer Willie Mullins has also declared two other horses for the race, Adamantly Chosen, who won the Grade 3 Buck House Chase at Punchestown in October before finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Drinmore Chase at Fairyhouse last time, and Authorized Art, who won a Grade 3 novices’ chase at Tipperary in October before finishing fourth, one place and three lengths in front of Adamantly Chosen, in the Drinmore Chase last time.  The field completed by the Oliver McKiernan-trained Aaron’s Day, who will have to improve on his run at Punchestown last time if he is going to be involved.

Pinkerton is the likely favourite for the O’Kelly Brothers Demolition Hurdle earlier in the day.  Winner of his maiden hurdle on his hurdling debut at Thurles last January, Noel Meade’s horse was only just beaten in a decent handicap hurdle at Down Royal in November on his debut this season, and he ran well last time in a valuable handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse’s Hatton’s Grace Hurdle meeting earlier this month when he finished a good second to Merlin Giant under Bryan Cooper, who takes the ride again on Monday.

Longhouse Poet is an interesting opponent.  Martin Brassil’s horse won the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park last January, and he ran well for a long way in the Grand National at Aintree in April before he tired on the run-in at the end of that four-and-a-quarter-mile contest.  He was pulled up in the Pertemps Qualifier over hurdles at Punchestown on his return this season, but he should do better now with that run under his belt.

Summer Melody is another interesting contender.  Charles Byrnes’ horse put up a nice performance to win his bumper at Navan in November on his first outing this season.  He couldn’t quite match that level of performance last time in a maiden hurdle won by the impressive Grangeclare West, but he could improve for that experience.

Global Equity tops the weights in the Mr Binman Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, after running out an impressive winner of a mares’ handicap hurdle at Thurles last month.  She is 8lb higher in the handicap now than she was then, she will have 12st 6lb to carry, but she could be up to the task.

The day gets under way at 12.35 with the C J Sheeran Three-Year-Olds’ Maiden Hurdle, a race that was won in 2018 by Band Of Outlaws, who went on to win the Boodles Fred Winter Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival the following March.

ENDS

By |2022-12-23T15:18:45+00:00December 23rd, 2022|Christmas Festival, Uncategorised|