Total Recall backed to give Willie Mullins a first Munster National

Ex-Sandra Hughes runner has first start for champion trainer in Limerick highlight

Roger Loughran on Total Recall on their way to winning The Prancer and Dancer Rated Novice Steeplechase in the Navan Races in Proudstown, Co Meath in December 2016. File photograph: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Willie Mullins’s transformative abilities are long renowned and punters appear to be putting their faith in them again with Total Recall already backed down to favouritism to provide the champion trainer with a first success in Sunday’s JT McNamara Ladbrokes Munster National.

Transferred to Mullins following Sandra Hughes’s retirement, Total Recall is having a first start since February in this Limerick highlight.

Yet even allowing for that absence, not to mention a handful of JP McManus contenders, as well as four from Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown Stud, Total Recall has already been a sustained gamble down to 3-1 from four times those odds earlier in the week.

Ruby Walsh is set to get down to 10.5 and while Total Recall's overall form does not obviously suggest favouritism for such a competitive 100,000 contest many punters appear ready and willing to put their faith in jump racing's "old firm" combination.

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The Mullins-Walsh team will be doubly represented at Fairyhouse on Saturday but this potentially looks a much more significant date for Gordon Elliott.

Mullins's great rival unveils his brilliant Cheltenham and Punchestown festival bumper heroine Fayonagh over flights in the opener. Davy Russell takes the mount on the six year old who is reported to have schooled well at home.

Russell will also be on the high-class Tombstone when he starts over fences while it is Jack Kennedy who is entrusted with the mount on another Gigginstown chasing newcomer Shattered Love in the mares Beginners.

Elliott’s influence can be felt at Limerick too although he surprisingly has no Munster National candidate. Mega Fortune dominates the three-runner opener while Jury Duty lines up in the final Beginners Chase.

Both Elliott and Mullins are involved in the conditions chase where Childrens List returns to action for the champion trainer. If he might prefer a longer trip, then Some Plan might have his stamina stretched by this trip. The intermediate distance could prove right up Attribution’s street however.

Fabulous Saga can relish both soft ground and the trip in the Listed novice hurdle and is Ruby Walsh’s pick.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

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