Defi Bleu looks to have a good chance of following in some illustrious hoof-prints by winning the Grade Two feature on the final day of Limerick’s Christmas festival.
The three-mile Sky Sports Novice Hurdle was won in 2016 by the reigning World Hurdle champion Penhill.
Three years before that the race fell to no less than Faugheen whose half brother Osmotic coincidentally makes his racing debut in the bumper on Saturday’s Limerick card.
Willie Mullins runs both Dorrells Pierji and Pleasure Dome in this year's renewal while Gigginstown Stud has half of the six-strong field including Defi Bleu.
Denis O’Regan’s mount ran an admirable race in Grade Two company last time, finishing third to Easy Game in the Navan Novice Hurdle with a run that suggests the half mile hike in trip should suit him.
The Galway winner Dorrells Pierji sets a 138 rating mark and looks to be the preferred option from the Mullins pair.
Moyheena had a thankless task trying to peg back Camellia Des Cottes in a Grade Three at Cork last time but Denis Hogan looks to have secured a good opportunity for her in the mares Beginners Chase.
Voix Des Tiep was a winner at Thurles last March and wound up his bumper campaign with a decent second to Dunvegan at Punchestown in April. That’s a profile to make him a leading contender for the opening maiden hurdle.
Osmotic faces no easy task on his racecourse debut with Willie Mullins represented by Castle North and Noel Meade holding perhaps the best chance with Active Force.
This horse started hot favourite for a Kilbeggan bumper in May but ran into no less than Sancta Simona, a mare who finished runner up in Grade One company at Leopardstown on Thursday.
Active Force’s return to action in a Punchestown bumper saw him fourth behind another smart type in Battleoverdoyen. This looks a decent bumper but one that Active Force could be up to winning.