Fenton’s ‘gentle giant’ Real Steel preferred to Renneti at Limerick

Officials predict ground conditions may turn heavy but not concerned about winds

Philip Fenton describes Gigginstown’s Real Steel as a ‘gentle giant’. Photograph: Caroline Norris

Philip Fenton describes Gigginstown’s Real Steel as a ‘gentle giant’. Photograph: Caroline Norris


Fans of The Tullow Tank’s chance in Leopardstown’s Grade One today will be looking for a confidence boost less than an hour beforehand when Renneti represents top-flight form in a conditions hurdle at Limerick.

Willie Mullins’s runner only just failed to hold off The Tullow Tank in the Royal Bond at the start of the month having dictated the pace for much of the contest.

A strict reading of that form makes him an outstanding proposition, but ground conditions will be very different, Renneti is unlikely to be allowed a soft lead, and in Real Steel he has an opponent it would be dangerous to underestimate.

Philip Fenton describes the Gigginstown runner as a “gentle giant” and clearly Real Steel is a very decent horse, having finished runner up in two bumpers – including behind The Tullow Tank – and then sluicing up in a hurdle at Cork despite doing a lot wrong.

His jumping wasn’t fluent at times, and he ran keenly, but the extra distance today should suit and Renneti’s presence can make Real Steel a value bet.

Limerick’s day two feature is the €50,000 Tim Duggan Handicap Chase and Speckled Wood could make a winning debut in handicap company.

The regally-bred daughter of High Chaparral and Like A Butterfly won over fences before unsuccessfully reverting to flights at Fairyhouse last time.

Her new mark of 123 over fences is half a stone lower than she has over flights and she’s shown enough over the bigger obstacles to suggest she can go in today.

Theos Well has been running into an ultra-smart type in Rathvinden but faces nothing of that quality in the opening maiden hurdle.

It’s over a year since Moiqen last ran over flights but is nicely weighted on what he’s been doing over fences since.

Limerick officials predict ground conditions may turn heavy for today’s action but are not concerned about any high winds. “We . . . might get 14-18mms of rain but the track should be able to take that, even if it would turn things heavy,” said manager Russell Ferris.