All eyes on Gilgamboa in Limerick’s Friday feature race

The McManus-owned six-year-old, already at 14-1 for the Arkle at Cheltenham, looks strong but Adriana Des Mottes cannot be discounted

Gilgamboa will be the principal focus of the McManus team’s attention at Limerick on Friday. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Gilgamboa will be the principal focus of the McManus team’s attention at Limerick on Friday. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

 

Gilgamboa skips a clash with Vautour at Leopardstown in favour of an appearance closer to home in Limerick’s €39,000 Grade Two St Stephen’s Day feature, but he looks set to run into another potent Willie Mullins-trained threat in Adriana Des Mottes.

Mark Walsh, who tops the jockeys standing with Paul Townend on 51 winners this season, goes to Limerick for three rides and can strike in the opener with Irish Bulletin for his boss, JP McManus.

Hat-trick-seeking

The hat-trick-seeking Black Zero also holds a chance for Walsh, but Gilgamboa is the principal focus of the McManus team on Friday as he is already as low as 14-1 for the Arkle at Cheltenham on the back of an impressive debut over fences at Navan.

Tackling Vautour in a Grade One is one thing, but last year’s Boylesports Hurdle winner can hardly be said to have a comparative penalty kick at Limerick either.

The seven runners in the Shannon Airport Novice Chase also include a pair of Gigginstown hopes in Wounded Warrior and the Drinmore fourth Band Of Blood, while Willie Mullins also has two, and an 18lb weight concession by most of the others to the four-year-old mare Adriana Des Mottes is a big ask.

This filly ran three times over hurdles in her native France as a three-year-old and looked a natural jumper on her chasing debut when fighting back well to touch off the high class Rock The World at Fairyhouse.

Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown stud looks to dominate the conditions hurdle with a trio of Urticaire, Marinero and All Hell Let Loose, who represents Grade One Royal Bond form, while the old firm of Dermot Weld and Robbie McNamara merit close attention in the mares’ maiden hurdle with Truthwillsetufree.

Rare form

Black Zero followed up as recently as last Sunday at Thurles and is clearly in rare form. But the race very much panned out in his favour at the weekend, with rivals either crashing out or making mistakes, and a 6lb penalty may now catch him out. Top Cat Henry looks an alternative.

 

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