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  • 16:50 Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle 2m 179y

  • (Grade 2) (Registered As The Dawn Run Mares' Novices' Hurdle) £75,000 added 4yo+ 16 ran
  • Winner £42,712 2nd £16,028 3rd £8,025 4th £3,998
  • Going: Good (Good to Soft in places)
  • Surface: Turf
  • Winning time: 3m 57.80s
  • Off time: 16:51:34

Limini wins the Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival

Last Updated: 17/03/16 6:20pm

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Limini ran out a facile winner

Limini ran out a facile winner

Limini continued a tremendous week for trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Ruby Walsh by easily winning the Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Unbeaten in two starts over hurdles, the five-year-old brought a tall reputation to England with her and didn't disappoint under an uber-confident Ruby Walsh as she completed a treble on the day for the Mullins team and owner Susannah Ricci.

The Peintre Celebre mare was always travelling strongly yet dropped back to fifth as the race began to develop between the final two flights with Walsh motionless in the plate.

He eased her to the outsider of Bloody Mary and Dusky Legend approaching the last and then asked her to go and win the race which she did with the minimum of fuss to land another blow for the punters.

The winning margin was four and a half lengths with Dusky Legend second at 50/1 and Bloody Mary rewarding some late each-way support at 7/1.

Walsh, who was riding his seventh winner of the week, said: "She's a little gem. She jumped like a buck. She's a good filly."

Of his alliance with Mullins, Walsh said: "It's different for me nowadays - I've become very much part of the team and we all work for a genius."

"She's a high-class filly. There was never a moment's worry. She travelled well and jumped well. I'd imagine there's a big Flat race in her off 89. She's deadly. We told everyone for the last six weeks and she was just a shade of odds-on."
Ruby Walsh

Walsh went on: "Another great day. She was given as the banker a long time ago. She's a very talented filly, all we had to do was iron out her jumping but she schooled really well the last fortnight, very slick.

"She's a high-class filly. There was never a moment's worry. She travelled well and jumped well.

"I'd imagine there's a big Flat race in her off 89. She's deadly. She's a good filly, if she'd got beat it wouldn't have made sense as she's been working with some good horses.

"Stamina wasn't an issue, she'd won over two miles, two.

"We told everyone for the last six weeks and she was just a shade of odds-on."

Mullins said: "We couldn't believe we could buy her with just one bid at the sales, a mare with her potential.

"She was very novicey on her first run but every time she worked she showed how good she was and her jumping improved each time we schooled her and for a novice having just her third run she was very good today.

"It looked like she liked the better ground.

"She's got a nice Flat mark and the Ascot Stakes would look a target, however, we will look at Liverpool, Punchestown or maybe both depending how she is.

"She's plenty of stamina and lots of speed."

It was a fifth winner of the week for Rich and Susannah Ricci and a thirteenth overall.

Ricci said: "That was a very good performance from Limini and I am delighted she has won. It was a dominant performance.

"She travelled nicely and jumped really well today, much better than she has done in her last two performances. I'm sure we will mix it on the Flat as we could have some fun off a mark of 89."

Ricci who also tasted success earlier today with Vautour in the Grade One Ryanair Chase highlighted the possibly of the mare heading to Australia: "Limini may be a Melbourne Cup type. She jumped very well which was great and she is a good filly. She would have to find quite a bit to get into the Melbourne Cup.

"I would definitely like to go back to Melbourne hopefully with her or hopefully with somebody else as it is a great place and it is great to race there so we will definitely be going back with something."

Wayne Hutchinson was delighted with the performance of the runner-up, commenting: "She's run a cracker.

"She's a bit ground dependant and this is the first time in her career she's had proper good ground - it's made all the difference.

"She's travelled well, jumped great and ran all the way to the line. We've just bumped into another Mullins hotshot sadly!"

Dusky Legend is owned by Richard and Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes, whose Trull House Stud sponsored the race. One of their other two runners, Robins Reef, finished fourth (his other runner, Chocca Wocca, finished 10th).

Barry Geraghty, jockey of the Nicky Henderson-trained mare Bloody Mary, who finished a further two and a half lengths back in third, was also happy with the performance of his mount.

"She's run well," said the jockey. "She's travelled nicely but just didn't quite have the speed of the other two."

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