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Thursday 24 January 2019

Getabird ready to take perfect next step over fences

CONFIDENCE HIGH: Getabird is going for a Grade One over fences today. Photo: Racing Post
CONFIDENCE HIGH: Getabird is going for a Grade One over fences today. Photo: Racing Post

Getabird is the star attraction in the Matchbook Betting Exchange Novice Chase at Limerick.

The dual bumper winner was a hot favourite for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, after winning his first two starts over timber at Punchestown.

However, he disappointed at Prestbury Park and was pulled up after being badly hampered back at Punchestown the following month.

He got his career back on track when making an impressive chasing debut at Punchestown earlier this month, and this two-and-a-half-mile contest - which holds Grade One status for the first time - is viewed as the perfect next step.

Ruby Walsh travels to Limerick to take the ride - his first appearance at the track on this day since 1996.

Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father, Willie, said: "We've always sent Grade One horses to Limerick and I think Ruby would probably be going to ride even if it wasn't a Grade One.

"It's the right way around for Getabird and for an ex-point-to-pointer he's very low and quick over his fences.

"He was a class above these horses over hurdles and there's nothing to suggest he won't be as good over fences.

"He's in good form and hopefully he can get his Grade One on the board."

Mullins has claimed this prize five times in the last 10 years, with Financial Reward (2008), Sir Des Champs (2011), The Paparrazi Kid (2013), Outlander (2015) and Bellshill (2016) all on the roll of honour.

Getabird will be favourite to see off six rivals and provide the champion trainer with another success today.

Majurca has his first run since leaving France for Joseph O'Brien's stable.

"He's a horse that came from France.

We haven't had him that long," said Frank Berry, racing manager to owner JP McManus. "Getabird looked very impressive in Leopardstown. If he runs a nice race we'll be pleased.

"Joseph is reasonably happy with him and he has to start somewhere. The ground should be nice for him and we hope he puts in a clear round and runs well."

Gordon Elliott saddles Hardline - an impressive winner of a Grade Three at Naas on his latest outing - while Jessica Harrington's Jetz finished third in the Grade One Drinmore Novice Chase last time out. Beyond The Law (Mouse Morris), Riders Onthe Storm (Tom Taaffe) and Game Of War (Henry de Bromhead) complete the field.

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