Munster National Handicap Tips & Betting Preview

The Munster National Handicap is run this year in honour of JT McNamara, and we hope it’ll be a competitive race worthy of the name.

Ruby Walsh hasn’t ridden the winner of this since 2008 when on board Paul Nicholls’ 7/4 favourite Dear Villez, but has been booked to ride Dare To Endeavour – despite the possibility that he may have to put up 2lb overweight. Seemingly out of form since finishing 2nd in a gruelling Becher Chase off a mark 2lb higher, he will have gained race fitness for his start over hurdles last time out and is our tip for the race. The combination of the eye catching booking, excellent run at Aintree over this similar marathon trip and ground to suit should see him put in a big race.

The favourite, dominating the market for this 3 mile, €100,000 contest is Wrath Of Titans for Gordon Elliott, one of five runners for Gigginstown. A winner of the Kerry National off seven pounds lower under an amateur jockey, Bryan Cooper now rides and his stamina really showed that day, powering away all the way to the line. That win was on the back of an easy hurdle win over 2m 2f at Downpatrick, showing he does have a decent turn of pace, but the price is a worry in a field this large and competitive.

Henry De Bromhead was one of the trainers who profited from the fall out from the Willie Mullins/Gigginstown split, and while he doesn’t train any of the Gigginstown runners entered here he still has 4 horses. The strongest in the market is On Fiddlers Green with Mark Enright booked to ride, who has been raised 6lb for winning a Galway handicap chase over slightly shorter as he liked. He was a decent enough novice hurdler and while he initially struggled chasing, his form figures for his last three runs read 121 and there was a lot to like about how he won last time out. Conditions should suit and he’s one to be feared.

Gordon Elliott is another with multiple entries – three in total – and his best chance looks to be Killer Crow, the Gigginstown second string. Jack Kennedy has shown a lot of promise in his career so far and is booked to ride, as he was last time when he found himself unseated after being hampered at the 5th fence. He gets in off near bottom weight here with his mark of 132 but he’s had plenty of bad runs at shortish odds in these sorts of races including at Punchestown and Galway earlier this year so isn’t one to bank on.

Rightville Boy was only beaten 5 lengths by Wrath Of Titans in the Kerry National, and now reopposes 5lb better off in the weights. He’s won just 2 of his 16 chase starts but his last run was his first try at this sort of trip and with just 10 stone on his back and Ryan Treacy claiming an additional 5lb like last time he could run well at a big price.

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