Today saw the return of LIMINI (156) in an all too rare high profile clash between herself and APPLE’S JADE (154) in the race won by Annie Power last year. Despite going off a short priced favourite, Apple’s Jade was firmly put in her place by Limini, though she may have set the race up for the winner by setting a strong enough pace.
There were three hurdle races on the card run over the 2m4f distance of this race, the time for each race timed from the first hurdle to the finish were as follows, with the time Limini was ahead of each race shown alongside:
|Limini||Mossback||Graphic Legacy||Mossback||Graphic Legacy|
As you can see, they went a much faster pace in the mare’s race, before steadying the pace around 4 out, before Limini fairly motored home from the last. She clocked 14.35s from the last jump to the finish, with the next best being 16.07s run by Kilfenora in the shorter 2 mile race that opened the card. It was very impressive to show such a turn of foot on this ground.
Apple’s Jade was on the pace all the way and in my view set the race up to an extent for the winner who travelled well in behind and was able to show a better turn of foot to scoot away after the final hurdle. I wouldn’t rule her out overturning this form should the two meet again.
Limini herself would go close in the Champion Hurdle should connections in the end elect to supplement her. Getting 7lbs from the rest of the field would put her right in amongst them based on this running, and given it was her first run back there would be scope for some progression from this. Indeed she seemed to surprise connections with her performance, so you would have to think they have left something to work on. She certainly seems to have an affinity for undulating tracks with her only defeat on one coming at Punchestown last season after having run at both Cheltenham and Aintree beforehand.
Apple’s Jade would also have a good chance in the Champion Hurdle with the weight concession for mares. I think both horses are capable of running better than the marks I have allotted them today and with that in mind they would run with big chances in the big one in March. The Gigginstown horse though looks an exciting chasing prospect, more so than the winner and she is one certainly to look forward to next season. From a selfish point of view I would perhaps elect to skip Cheltenham altogether, run at Aintree where she was so impressive last season and then put her away for novice chasing and a potentially mouth-watering clash with Sutton Place!