Preview limerick 23rd Jan

Tue 22nd Jan 2013, 12:10

Providing the course passes an early-morning inspection, National Hunt racing will return to Ireland with a seven-race fixture at Limerick.

The action is due to get under way at 1.15 with the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Maiden Hurdle, in which Carrigeen Lonicera attempts to translate her successful bumper form to this sphere.

Girl In Blue boasts a similar profile, although the primary threat could come in the shape of Toye Native, who has made the frame twice at Down Royal and has the advantage of jumping experience.

The Paparrazi Kid keeps hitting the crossbar but begins what could be a profitable day for Willie Mullins when he lines up in the INH Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle.

Ruby Walsh gets the leg-up on him, but the champion trainer's amateur son Patrick has been booked for Celtic Wish, who flopped on his debut for the stable at Tramore and bids for redemption in the Handicap Hurdle.

Mullins senior transformed Immediate Response's fortunes last season, with the ex-Michael Fitzgerald inmate registering a hat-trick in the early part of 2012, but he hasn't been seen since the Punchestown Festival.

Even so, it will disappointing if he can't get his career over fences off to the best possible start in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase, in which last-start seconds Stony Grey Soil and Gerdalia appear best of the rest.

Ponmeword slipped up when bang in contention over fences at Tramore and reverts to the smaller obstacles off a 6lb lower mark in the Sporting Limerick Handicap Hurdle.

Lisrose won the opener on the card 12 months ago and returns for the Greenmount Beginners Chase, while Indian Fairy tries to confirm the promise of her Punchestown placing in the Adare Mares INH Flat Race, although she only had a short head to spare over the reopposing Shuilamach on that occasion.

24 hours crucial for Cheltenham card

The next 24 hours remain crucial for Cheltenham in their bid to stage Saturday's Festival Trials Day meeting.