Rathnure Rebel to follow in illustrious footsteps at Limerick

Patrick Mullins fancied to notch bumper victory for Pat Fahy on Castlegrace Paddy

Rathnure Rebel has already stood out from the crowd in his fledgling racing career and he will have a lot to live up to if successful in Limerick's Grade Two feature on Thursday.

The three-mile Guinness Novice Hurdle was won by Faugheen in 2013 and a year later it went the way of Martello Tower who proceeded to his own Cheltenham festival success in the Albert Bartlett.

Willie Mullins sends both Penhill and Livelovelaugh for the €44,500 heat but Rathnure Rebel is perhaps the most intriguing contender.

Noel Meade has had a long racing career but he admitted to being fascinated when first seeing the Gigginstown runner in a point to point.


“He actually fell at the first and was down on all fours. However he got back up again, he ran away the whole way in the three-mile race, and still won – I’ve never seen the like of it!” the former champion trainer recounted.

Rathnure Rebel was snapped up after that display and is now starting to deliver on that potential on the track. He beat a shorter-priced Gigginstown runner, Monbeg Notorious, by 11 lengths in a three-mile Grade Three on heavy ground at Cork earlier this month and did so in some style.

Proven ability

That proven ability on heavy going and over the trip makes Meade’s runner a more attractive proposition than Penhill who has been mixing it at two miles and in the past shown a dislike for Easyfix hurdles.

Patrick Mullins teams up with Livelovelaugh in Limerick's feature but is on Castlegrace Paddy for Pat Fahy in the bumper. This one ran a fine race over flights when beaten by only a length by the potentially very smart Minella Till Dawn at Fairyhouse.

The French recruit Benie Des Dieux is likely to be well-fancied on her Irish debut in the mares Beginners Chase but plenty will be wary of her stable companion Pylonthepressure who bids to end a frustrating and costly run of seconds in the opening maiden hurdle. Crest ran a satisfactory race at Navan when runner-up to Total Recall and can score for Jack Kennedy in the novice chase.

Cian Collins is due to take 7lbs off Moores Road who tries to land the second of the handicap hurdles having chased home Some Neck here on Tuesday.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column