Grand National Prep Races: The Munster National

A good race is in prospect at Limerick on Sunday for the Munster National with a few prospective Grand National runners declared in the early card.

The names that stand out at the moment include

Aggies Lad
Ballycullen Boy
Casey Jones
Church Island
Parsons Pistol
Royal County Star
Silver Jaro

Some unlikely candidates here particularly Mansony and Silver Jaro who are both better known for successes over two miles. It will be interesting to see if Mansony does run as his current mark of 157 could cause havoc with the handicap.

Casey Jones and Parsons Pistol stand out as young horses to watch and top class hurdler Powerstation could step into handicap company over fences for the first time.

The Munster National has been won by some good horses in the last decade such as Mossbank, More Than A Stroll, Foxchapel King and most recently Paul Nicholls’ Dear Villez.

Do any of the entries appeal to you as Grand National horses of the future? Or can you see any of the horses in the Munster National ending up in the Grand National 2010? What are your fancies for the race itself?

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23 Responses to Grand National Prep Races: The Munster National

  1. The Stayer says:

    Powerstation is a very interesting entry here. He’s a very high class hurder on his day and seems to appreciate a stamina test. He’s been placed on all 5 of his starts at Cheltenham and that’s probably because the stiff uphill finish there brings his stamina into play. I think this horse wants even further than 3m so I can see why connections tried the larger obstacles last season. He only ran in two chases before reverting back to hurdles and he registered a win over 3m before being beaten over 2m4f. His only other start over fences was his first run of this season a couple of weeks ago and he was 3rd behind Reisk Superman and Emotional Article. Despite getting weight from those two i think it was a decent run. He was having his first run since April and was up against two rivals fit from summer jumping campaigns and 2m4f on good-firm ground was probably on the sharp side for him. He’s rated around 155 over hurdles but is running off 124 in this so he could be thrown-in. Looks like it could be a plot-job? Three runs over fences to get a handicap mark and two of those over inadequate trips…..

  2. Pablo says:

    Agree he may well be thrown-in.

    It’s a race I’ll be leaving alone from a betting view but will watch with interest to see how Casey Jones, Church Island & Royal County Star get on in terms of being potential GN threats.

    Also interested in Parson’s Pistol – he’s my early shout for the Welsh GN based on his win in a Grade 2, low rating (so appears well-handicapped), should get nice low weight (Halcon Genelardais & Notre Pere only winners carrying 11’0 or more for ages – and they are 160+ horses now), form on Soft, looks like he’s crying out for a trip (related to The Parson), and only 7 years old (aged 6 or 7 have won the past 5 renewals). Plus every chance of having Paul Carberry’s assistance from the saddle.

  3. The Stayer says:

    Mansony has been ruled out by Arthur Moore on the grounds that he is giving too much weight away. Weights will go up by 10lbs which would leave Casey Jones and Royal County Star as joint top weights.

  4. maureen says:

    I was only looking today to see if anyone mentioned Powerstation. We were told to back him at Cheltenham last year; supposedly he was running out of his skin. Although he goes against all the trends for this race, it’s a puzzle why he has been entered. And why put him in such a competitive race?? What was his jumping like, last year? [are you sure Ferdy Murphy doesn't train him?]

  5. The Stayer says:


    Powerstation is defintely not trained by Ferdy Murphy. I don’t know whether the horse running in this is a plot-job or a case of connections scratching their heads over what to do. He’s rated in the mid-150s over hurdles which makes life very difficult in handicaps. He’s probably just short of top class, so in Graded races finds one or two too good in those contests. He won a chase over fences last season so is no longer elegible to run in novice chases so handicap chasing probably offers the best opportunity for him, especially as his chase rating is some 30lbs below his hurdles rating.

    I see Church Island is set to carry top weight. I have to say that whilst I like the horse and the profile that he has with regards the National, I am a little concerned that it’s not even mid October and he is having his 4th start of the season. I’m worried that connections are either not aiming him at Aintree or if he does go he will be knackered come April if he’s not given a mid-season holiday.

  6. Pablo says:

    Stayer – the last horse to have a Summer campaign and win the National was Monty’s Pass (& the only one I have found)

    MP also ran in the Kerry & Munster Nationals – but MP then only had 2 hurdles runs before the big race after the weights had been published – Monty’s liked the sun on his back so I guess it helped him to have a Winter break

    Church Island has run his best races in handicaps from April to September on good ground so I guess he may well have a Winter break too if they are to go for the GN

    He’s not in any betting lists as far as I am aware either – so at least no money has been wasted…yet

  7. maureen says:

    May have a bet on Treacle tomorrow. Seems to tick a lot of boxes.

  8. Ben Aitken says:

    Hi Guys

    Munster National preview just added to my blog –

    Looks an interesting race although perhaps not from a punting point of view.

    Not many of these would have a decent shout in the Aintree National.



  9. TC says:

    Not much to go on, might have a small bet on parsons pistol, treacle looks an improving type.
    Drunken Disorderly seems appropriately named!

    7 of 10 winners finished in the first 2 on one of their last two starts

    7 of 10 winners had not run in the past 60 days

    4 of 8 winner had previously won at Limerick (4 exceptions were having first course start)

    10 of 10 winners had won a chase over 2M 4F+

    9 of 10 winners had run in a graded chase (exception had run in listed chase)

    6 of 10 winners had run in 7 or fewer handicap chases

    8 of 10 winners were 2nd or 3rd season chasers

    6 of 10 winners finished unplaced at the previous season’s Punchestown Festival

  10. maureen says:

    Was tempted to have an ew on Aggies Lad, but have stuck with Treacle [no pun intended]; trainer has a good record at the course as well.

  11. kj says:

    Hey peeps! just checking in for the first time this season, hope everyone is well and ready to find the winner in THE BIG ONE!
    still can’t believe Mon Mome… properly running 33f in quite testing conditions with 11-12 on his back AFTER cheltenham! a big no-no, hence the 100-1 in the big one, is it unheard of?
    still gutted as I backed him at uttoxeter, had a feeling about double 1st letters being lucky, agggggggggghhhhhh!

    So in this race I’m going for an outsider that has carried alot of weight and now finds himself carrying nothing! never seen him so its a blind bit of fun, its Paddy Pub has the double 1st letter thing too ;)
    My other more seriously considered bet is Treacle, has come in since I put my money down tother day, but even better maureen is in agreement!

  12. Neil says:

    Kj if double first letters are your thing (not mine though) then you want a saver on Parson Pistol. For me I think Church Island will run a big race. I don’t think he travels well. Don’t know if any clue will emerge for the Grand National but who knows.

  13. kj says:

    theres alot of them doubles about now, can’t have em all, although I shoulda in the GN! 3 outta 40.
    dunno if it feels lucky this yr Neil, if so could MM do the double! we’ll see how much he has put in his saddle bags, I think after CODs effort the weights won’t be so kind. Deep down I just hate the handicapping system and would love an extra special race for horses that finished in top 4 off an even and kind weight.

  14. kj says:

    Treacle, Taaffe and Townend!

  15. Neil says:

    About the double it’s been 33 years since Red Rum (Double R) last ran and before him was Reynoldstown in the 1930′s (1935 and 1936) a gap of 37 years. So maybe a double winner is due, certainly thought so for many years now.

    Just analysing double winners;
    first was Abd-El-Kader back in the year 1850, 1851
    followed by Peter Simple who won in 1849 and 1853 at the age of 15
    The Colonel won it 1869 to 1870 inbetween The Lamb (only Grey to win a double) 1868, 1871
    Manifesto won in 1897, 1899.
    Poethlyn in 1919 doesn’t really count because in 1918 the course used was different.

    So from 1839 when Lottery galloped over the winning line to be the first winner to Mon Mome being the lastest we’ve had 7 multiple winners (Red Rum included) in 170 years or 1 every 24 to 25 years.

    I know that it doesn’t really work like that but something tells me we are overdue a double winner although it might not be back to back.

  16. Pablo says:

    Well done to those that had the winner – glad I didn’t bet – do better betting Irish horses in UK

    No GN material for next year – possibly Church Island on a going day but he’ll be 11 and has been running non-stop for a year now (13 runs in 12 months)

    Parson’s Pistol doesn’t look good for Welsh National based on that run – Noel Meade is in form – possibly softer ground would have helped but will look elsewhere for young up-and-coming alternatives

  17. Neil says:

    Well done Maureen with Treacle. Didn’t have a bet myself (didn’t have all the facts on the race. Don’t know if the Grand National hopefuls did themselve justice, but the season young yet.

  18. Pablo says:

    Casey Jones, One Cool Cookie & Royal County Star (among others) all entered at Punchestown on Thursday

  19. kj says:

    feeling tip top, having backed the winner and 3rd place, great start to my season.
    I don’t know if its excitment but I liked the look of both of them, maybe the national is too far, but Treacle is 8 and Paddy Pub is only 6, future prospects?

    I have to say having been keen on watching the progress of Church Island early this yr, I have gone right off him, partly because he is being run into the ground and partly because of the way he runs his races,.. if he runs well he’s up there sure, but something will go past him in the end. Hope he gets a good rest, its not impossible to work on his finishing speed, stamina but he’s not my tip for the GN.
    Interested in watching Casey Jones on thurs.

  20. maureen says:

    I haven’t seen the replay but like kj I was wondering about Paddy Pub in the long term; anyone know his breeding?

  21. Pablo says:

    On paper, Paddy Pub looks like he may stay further than 3 miles but I doubt Treacle would stay the National trip.

  22. Ben Aitken says:

    On Breeding –

    Treacle won’t be winning the Grand national – To much speed in his Dosage.

    Paddy Pub, he looks like he will be a stayer – Dosage rating is well suited to the National compared to previous winners. Whether he is good enough is another matter.

    Dosage did point in the direction of Treacle for today’s race; however I did not take the hint!?!

  23. Neil says:

    Looking at my racing paper (The Weekender) it says this was not the strongest renewal, but it was competive. Treacle met difficulty in running but in the opinion of Tom Taaffe (Trainer) it had help rather than hinder Treacle. Treacle was rated 122, got a Top Speed of 135, RPR 142 in that race and now his trainer is looking at Hennessy at Newbury, Troytown at Navan or Paddy Power at Leopardstown around christmas.

    Church Island was sent off in front but losing touch before the second last, however he was staying on at the finish. Church Island ran on a rating of 144, his TS=148 while his RPR was 154. He finished 10 lengths adrift.