The 2013 Limerick Christmas Racing Festival looks set to be an intriguing four days racing. The quality of horses taking part is as strong as ever and sure to make for excellent racing, with the Willie Mullins-trained Felix Yonger the headline act on day one in the Grade 2 Greenmount Park Novice Steeplechase on Thursday. The seven-year-old was impressive in winning all three of his starts over fences thus far.
Carriganog, trained by the leading Flat trainer, Aidan O'Brien and running in the silks of JP McManus in the O'Kelly Bros. Demolition & Environmental Contracts Hurdle is one of six runners with Smashing and Dalasiri two notable opponents. The son of Shantou created an excellent impression when winning his first two starts over hurdles and while he was a bit disappointing at Navan last time, the return to this softer surface seems sure to suit.
Dick Dundee, a three-time winner already this season is one of the main fancies for the most valuable race of the festival, the Grade B Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Steeplechase on the Friday, with last year's winner Jack Absolute one of his main opponents.
Trainer Michael Hourigan, who has a great record at the Limerick track is represented on day one by Tropical Three in the Guinness Mares Handicap Hurdle, who has won three times in 2013, including once at Limerick. Other notable entries for Hourigan include Aerlite Supreme in the Lyons of Limerick Jaguar Land Rover Hurdle on day two and The Job Is Right in the Grade 3 Liberty Insurance Novice Hurdle on December 28
Other interesting horses entered for the Liberty Insurance Novice Hurdle include Very Wood and Lots Of Memories while Willie Mullins currently holds eight entries in the race.
The going at Limerick is currently soft, soft to heavy in places after 5mm of rain overnight. The forecast is for unsettled weather.
The first of a seven-race card on St. Stephens Day is off at 12.30pm with gates open from 10.30am.