Limerick preview: Well Set Up appeals in Shannon Spray

14th September 2021

2020 Shannon Spray Mares Novice Hurdle preview from Limerick

The first of two graded races at Limerick this Sunday is the 2m 6f Grade 3 Shannon Spray Mares Novice Hurdle (14:10) and Well Set Up has leading form claims of resuming winning ways.

This Mark Fahey trained seven-year-old won three of her first four starts this season.

After breaking her maiden tag on reappearance at Roscommon, Well Set Up was an eight-length runner-up to Listen Dear in a Listed contest here over course and distance.

She finished 10 lengths and upwards clear of the remainder, then resumed winning ways when stepped up to 3m at Cork in the same grade.

The daughter of Gold Well kept on up the stands’ side rail for a two-length success and then followed-up at this level.

That third victory of the season in the Kerry Group Stayers Novice Hurdle saw Well Set Up beat the re-opposing Larquebuse, who was down in fourth, by six lengths.

As the pair meet again off the exactly the same terms, there’s no reason why she shouldn’t confirm form.

Winning that punched her ticket to the big Grade 2 contest here over 2m 7f during the Christmas Festival.

Well Set Up was held just a length by subsequent Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle third Fury Road in that.

A repeat of that effort behind a horse who placed at the Cheltenham Festival should be more than enough to win the Shannon Spray.

Well Set Up was only a distant fifth last time out at Punchestown, but connections now fit her with cheekpieces for the first time.

If they have the desired effect, then she looks more than capable of bouncing back and giving weight all-round here. Odds of 5/1 with Betway say Well Set Up will do just that.

Salsaretta seeks four-timer on Shannon Spray day

In the feature Grade 2 mares novice chase over an extended 2m 6f, Salsaretta is a hot favourite with bookmakers to get some black type.

Trained by Willie Mullins for owners Rich and Susannah Ricci, the seven-year-old is unbeaten in three starts in this sphere.

A typical French import to Closutton, Salsaretta beat subsequent Grade 1 winner Felix Desjy at this venue over 2m 4f back in December 2018.

Although she failed to trouble the judge in four further outings at the highest level, she has come into her own over fences.

Salsaretta bested Galvin, who ran well when second in a Listed novices’ handicap at the Cheltenham Festival this week, by eight lengths on her chase bow at Punchestown.

She then followed-up back against her own sex when giving 7lb and a 3 1/4 lengths beating to Agusta Gold.

The runner-up has since put in a huge performance to fill the same spot in the Irish Grand National Trial.

Salsaretta completed her hat-trick when stepped up to this trip at Thurles last time out and made all to easily beat Caravation by nine lengths.

That sequence gives her leading claims of the spoils here. Mullins is fresh from being crowned top trainer at the Cheltenham Festival once again, so Salsaretta has everything going for her but odds of 1/3 with William Hill reflect that.

An unexposed each-way alternative to the favourite could be Olly Murphy’s unbeaten British raider Monbeg Zena.

This Sullivan Bloodstock owned eight-year-old won her Irish point, a Southwell novice hurdle at Southwell and Market Rasen novice chase last time out.

Although Monbeg Zena has had long breaks between outings, she’s very lightly-raced for her age and open to plenty of further progress at 9/1 with Paddy Power.

On Eagles Wings the bumper bet

In a competitive Irish National Hunt Flat race that completes the Shannon Spray card (17:20), On Eagles Wings may finally get his head in front.

The six-year-old is still a maiden, but has run big races in defeat. They include when beaten just a head at Boulta in his sole Irish point.

On Eagles Wings was then far from disgraced when fifth to Fire Attack on his Rules debut at this venue in December.

He has since chased home Lady Heath giving her age and mares’ allowances totalling 9lb. As On Eagles Wings was only beaten six lengths, the form can be marked up.

This Flemensfirth gelding then chased home subsequent Cheltenham Champion Bumper winner Ferny Hollow at Fairyhouse.

Although On Eagles Wings had no chance with the winner, he stuck to the task well and was only beaten 4 1/2 lengths.

There doesn’t look to be anything of Ferny Hollow’s class and talent in this bumper.

Mullins’ Stattler may be the main danger at 15/8 with Betfred after finishing third in a hot National Hunt Flat event at Naas, but On Eagles Wings once again has the services of Harry Swan in the saddle here.

He takes 7lb off with his claim. That means On Eagles Wings is getting a whole stone from Stattler, who does have Patrick Mullins in the saddle, under the race terms.

With weight in his favour, he looks capable of finally landing the spoils and holding off the dual Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown House Stud challenge of Favori De Champdou and One Down.

On Eagles Wings is 2/1 with BetVictor to gain a deserved success.

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