Smart Talk can teach Limini a lesson in Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
David Metcalf | March 16, 2016
Smart money may be on Talk not Limini
Limini is a red-hot favourite to win the inaugural running of Grade 2 Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival (16.50), but Smart Talk looks decent value to lower her colours.
The Brian Ellison trained six-year-old has shown progressive form in winning four of her six starts over hurdles, and comes into the contest on the back off a career-best effort when landing a Grade 2 contest at Doncaster.
Smart Talk raced sweetly close up to the pace and after making a mistake when taking up the running three out showed a likeable attitude to dig deep and beat Lily Waugh by just over three lengths.
Form given a boost
The daughter of Hubbly Bubbly stayed on strongly to win going away, and the fourth home home Pass The Time ran an absolute blinder earlier in the week when fourth to Vroum Vroum Mag in the Grade 1 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle.
That gives the form a strong look in the contest of this contest, and sets the standard for others to aim at.
Another plus is that Smart Talk has plenty of experience over the obstacles compared to the vast majority of her rivals, and she is clearly thriving at present and may well have even more to offer.
Limini plenty short enough
Limini is unbeaten in two starts and is all the rage to provide leading Irish trainer Willie Mullins with another Festival success.
The five-year-old was a smart performer on the level in France and won on the bridle on hurdles debut at Punchestown last May after joining the County Carlow handler.
Limini then overcame a lengthy absence to win by a wide margin at Fairyhouse on seasonal reappearance, cruising clear in the manner of a high class prospect.
Bags of potential but jumping a concern
The five-year-old clearly has a huge engine and potential to go one to much better things, but her hurdling may not be as impressive as it seems.
She tended to slow up and be very careful at the obstacles when scoring at Fairyhouse, and that has to be a big concern in a race of this nature.
Limini could find it tough making up ground lost if not hurdling fluently, and her lack of experience could also count against the daughter of Peintre Celebre in what is likely to be a fast run affair.
Coral’s top tip: Smart Talk has a progressive profile and looks decent value to turn over the highly-touted Limini.