The first five home in last year’s renewal feature among the entries for the JT McNamara Ladbrokes Munster National at Limerick on Sunday, October 13. In all, there are 31 horses in the €100,000 contest with the Tom Mullins-trained Spider Web, which came from well off the pace to win under Luke Dempsey 12 months ago, leading the way.
In the colours of local owner JP McManus, he got up in the dying strides that day to narrowly deny Na Trachtalai Abu and James Motherway’s charge, third in the Guinness Kerry National at Listowel recently, is set to be in opposition once again.
Three trainers with previous wins in the race filled the placings last year. Eric McNamara, successful in 1999 with Kaselectric, took third place with Black Scorpion. More recently Henry De Bromhead won with Sadler’s Risk in 2015 and his Full Cry was fourth last year while Gordon Elliott, a winner with the legendary Tiger Roll in 2016, saddled Alpha Des Obeaux, third in the 2017 edition, to finish fifth.
The trio are well represented again this year with Elliott responsible for six entries, including the smart novice Dinons and Saturday’s Navan winner The Big Lense, while McNamara can also call on Internal Transfer, a three-time Limerick winner.
Eric McNamara commented: “Internal Transfer ran a very good race when fourth in the Kerry National – he just got a bit tired in the straight, but I was thrilled with the way he jumped and travelled. That was his first run of the season and with normal improvement I’d be expecting a very big run from him. He has won three times around Limerick so he clearly likes the place and I’ve been very happy with him since Listowel.
“Black Scorpion ran well over an inadequate trip at Listowel. He needs every yard of three miles-plus nowadays and he has come for that. He ran well in this race last year and he is in good form and as I said, the step back up in trip will be a big plus for him.”
Willie Mullins sent out Total Recall to win the JT McNamara Ladbrokes Munster National in 2017 and has made four entries including Yorkhill and Cabaret Queen, the latter making a promising debut for the champion trainer when runner-up to The Big Lense at Listowel.
The Dermot McLoughlin-trained Freewheelin Dylan found his form again to win at Kilbeggan at the beginning of the month while Mindsmadeup, trained by Matthew Smith, is another to have won last time out, he scored over hurdles at the Listowel festival.
Other interesting entries include the Enda Bolger-trained Movewiththetimes which was sent off the gambled-on favourite for the Kerry National only to finish down the field, Liam Cusack’s Galway Plate third Snugsborough Benny and Progress Drive which has joined Gavin Cromwell from Nicky Richards in England. Timiyan and Riviera Sun, seventh and 11th respectively in the race last year, are also among the entries.
Ladbrokes Ireland Director, Jackie Murphy, commented: “Ladbrokes have a long and proud association with Limerick Racecourse and we are certainly thrilled to be sponsoring the JT McNamara Munster National again. We would like to wish all involved the best of luck for the day."
Limerick Racecourse General Manager, Patrick O’Callaghan, said: “We are delighted with the calibre of entries for the JT McNamara Ladbrokes Munster National. It is great to see that the first five home in last year’s race are all entered again this year. There are a lot of yards represented including local trainers Eric McNamara's Black Scorpion, Gwencily Berbas and Internal Transfer and Enda Bolger’s Movewiththetimes. Ladbrokes have been sponsors of this race for the last 12 years and I would like to thank them for their continued support.”