Horse Racing: As Willie Mullins prepares for Cheltenham, Concertista shines in the Dawn Run Mares Novice Chase at Limerick

Horse Racing
Source: Skysports

Horse Racing: Concertista won the BoyleSports Irish EBF Dawn Run Mares, Novice Chase, at Limerick, despite the bump up in distance.

She was a winner at the Cheltenham Festival in 2020, but was beaten in a photo finish in March and has since moved her focus to fences.

She was good enough to win a Grade Two race on her chasing debut at Cork, but that was over two miles, and she was stepping up to two and a quarter miles this time – on very challenging terrain.

There was no waiting around either, as Kitty Galore jumped out to a quick lead, promising lots of action.

Sayce Gold, Concertista’s major market adversary, was an early faller, and Sean O’Keeffe was happy to give him plenty of rope.

It was a wise decision, as Kitty Galore was drawn in by them and Darrens Hope on the run to the wire, and the 1/2 favourite pulled four lengths clear at the finish.

“She was obviously extremely high class over hurdles,” O’Keeffe said. “I was really impressed with her jumping today and she came ahead of a lot jumping- and fitness-wise from her first run.”

“Kitty Galore had a good lead at the top of the hill, but my mare was picking uploads, and I knew heading into the straight, my horse would easily take her up.” I had complete faith in her, and she proved to be competent and astute in the end.

“Her class is true, and Willie (Trainer Mullins) has done an excellent job of keeping her nice. It was a very beautiful performance, and maybe she will progress again.”

“I thought Sean gave her a wonderful ride because he’s just young, she was a hotshot but he didn’t panic,” Mullins remarked from Leopardstown.

“He kept her jumping, which is difficult when you’re so much out of your comfort zone, especially if you’re one of John Ryan’s horses, which jump and gallop.”

“For a young man, that was a big ask, but he timed it right.” She leaps like a handicapper for a mare who is only having her second race over fences. She had a sleek and razor-sharp demeanour.

“She’ll probably run at Cheltenham and then somewhere else.” It may be a year too early, but the mares’ chase is on.”

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