Getabird­togetof­fGradeOne mark in new top-flight fea­ture

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Sports -

He flopped as a hot favourite for Chel­tenham’s Supreme and al­though an im­pres­sive Grade Two win­ner at Fairy­house dur­ing Easter he twice sub­se­quently failed to hit the Grade One mark at Punchestown.

Ad­mit­tedly the fi­nal one of those saw him badly ham­pered and pulled up. But there re­main many who are yet to be fully con­vinced by the horse.

There was how­ever plenty to like about his steeple­chase de­but at Punchestown where he once again ap­peared hap­pier go­ing right-handed.

Given he’s go­ing the right way around at Lim­er­ick, and both two and a half miles and soft ground are no prob­lem to him, Lim­er­ick’s first Grade One looks a per­fect chance for Getabird’s own first Grade One. Hard­line looks the dan­ger.

King Ge­orge

Walsh has three rides on the card and Sal­saretta’s fourth start for the Wil­lie Mullins team in the con­di­tions hur­dle should be a win­ning one.

The jockey, who mem­o­rably spent St Stephen’s Day win­ning the King Ge­orge five times on Kauto Star at Kemp­ton, doesn’t of­ten ride for JP McManus but does so in the open­ing ju­ve­nile maiden hur­dle.

Mix­moon ran third on the flat in France last Spring but she might face a task try­ing to win on her Ir­ish de­but against Band Of Out­laws.

Joseph O’Brien’s horse is rated in the 90’s on the flat and was run­ning on no­tice­ably well on his jump­ing de­but at Cork be­hind Maze Run­ner ear­lier this month.

The Gold Cup and Grand Na­tional win­ning rider Rob­bie Power is an­other top jockey giv­ing Leop­ard­stown a swerve and has half a dozen Lim­er­ick mounts on Wed­nes­day.

They in­clude Jetz who takes on Getabird in the big race al­though one the best of them could turn out to be Rovetta in a mares hand­i­cap hur­dle.

Jes­sica Har­ring­ton’s dual-pur­pose sort ran only on Satur­day at Thurles when last of five. Power how­ever re­ported she didn’t han­dle the rel­a­tively quick go­ing and Rovetta’s fond­ness for mud looks like be­ing pro­vided for at Lim­er­ick.

Power is also likely to be a ma­jor con­tender on Rovetta’s sta­ble com­pan­ion Pol­ished Steel in a maiden hur­dle con­fined to horses that have never been placed.

In that con­text Pol­ished Sil­ver’s fourth plac­ings be­hind Bat­tleover­doyen Daly Tiger read im­pres­sively.

Se­skin Flyer won at Thurles on Satur­day but the con­text for the re­sul­tant 6lb penalty is that the horse car­ried 5lb over­weight on that oc­ca­sion.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: INPHO

Paul Tow­nend on Getabird wins the maiden hur­dle at Punchestown last De­cem­ber. Getabird’s novice hur­dle ca­reer ul­ti­mately proved a let-down last sea­son.

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