The Ladbrokes Munster National, to be run at Limerick Racecourse on
Sunday, October 8, will again carry the name of John Thomas McNamara. For the
second year, the €100,000 event will commemorate the legendary local amateur
rider who partnered 602 winners on the point-to-point circuit alone but whose
considerable talent reached a much wider audience with his many high-profile
wins on the racecourse, particularly at the Punchestown and Cheltenham
Festivals, in a long and successful career.
Three previous winners feature among the 40 entries for the JT McNamara
Ladbrokes Munster National, up from 36 in 2016. Tiger Roll gave Gordon Elliott
his first win in the race last year and has been allotted 11st 3lbs this time.
Elliott’s narrow Guinness Kerry National winner Potters Point has been handed
11st while his team also includes the 2016 TheTote.com Galway Plate winner Lord
Scoundrel on 11st 5lbs and A Toi Phil, fourth in this season’s Galway Plate and
fifth in the Guinness Kerry National on 11st 3lbs.
Stellar Notion (10st 6lbs) chased home Tiger Roll in the race last year and is
one of five entries for Henry de Bromhead. The County Waterford trainer was
successful with Sadler’s Risk in the race in 2015 and the nine-year-old has
11st 3lbs this year. Devils Bride is the highest rated of the De Bromhead
quintet on 11st 5lbs while at the other end of the handicap, the Galway
festival winner Riviera Sun has 9st 8lbs.
Mouse Morris is a six-time winner of the race and is another with five entries
led by Alpha Des Obeaux and Thunder And Roses on 10st 11lbs. Dromnea,
successful in the Southampton Goodwill Chase at the Listowel festival has 10st
3lbs while Baily Moon, a winner over the course and distance in July, is on 9st
Willie Mullins has put four horses in the race as he bids to win the Munster
National for the first time. Shaneshill, runner-up in TheTote.com Galway Plate,
tops the overall weights on 11st 10lbs while the champion trainer might also be
represented by Total Recall (9st 9lbs) which joined him after the retirement of
Sandra Hughes earlier in the summer. Joseph O'Brien has also made four entries,
headed by his Galway Plate third Slowmotion (10st 10lbs) and the Guinness Kerry
National runner-up Arkwrisht on 10st 4lbs. Katnap, sixth at Navan on Saturday on
his first start since finishing second over the Grand National fences in the
Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase at Aintree in April, has 9st 13lbs.
The third previous winner to hold an entry is Shanpallas, one of three horses
entered by local trainer Charles Byrnes. Successful in 2014, Shanpallas is on
10st 3lbs while Rock On Fruity, a runner at Roscommon this afternoon, has 9st
8lbs after his wins in the Galway Plate Trial Handicap Chase here in July and
at Kilbeggan earlier this month. Phil’s Magic, trained by Tony Martin, was
third to Rock On Fruity here in July and has since been successful in the
Midlands National at Kilbeggan before just losing out to Riviera Sun at
Ballybrit. He is on 9st 9lbs.
Patrick O’Callaghan, General Manager of Limerick Racecourse, said, “I’m very
pleased with the calibre of entries for the JT McNamara Ladbrokes Munster
National. All here at Limerick Racecourse are really looking forward to this
year’s renewal as it is one of the highlights of the National Hunt calendar and
the eagerly anticipated spectacle boasts a prize-fund of €100,000.”