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2016 Mares Novice Hurdle Result
Thu, Mar 17th, 2016

LIMINI PROOF THAT MULLINS HAS NO BOUNDARIES

Chasers, hurdlers, novice chasers and now a mare who is a novice hurdler - they all come alike to trainer Willie Mullins.

He trained his seventh winner at this week's Cheltenham Festival when Limini won the first running of the Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle. The race has been introduced at the meeting as a way of promoting mares as racehorses. In addition it helps breeders through encouraging racehorse owners to buy the fillies they produce.

Limini, who now carries the colours of Rich Ricci, was bought at Arqana horse sales in France by Mullins' scout, Harold Kirk, for €100,000 in October, 2014. She had won before that sale, and is now unbeaten in three further races for Mullins.

He said: "She's a very good filly who has always shown us plenty since she joined us. She was a bit novicey on her first run, but was second next time and better again today."

Asked to compare her with the likes of Annie Power and Vroum Vroum Mag, mares who won for Mullins on the first day of The Festival, he said: "She's a Flat mare, whereas Vroum Vroum is a big, jumping mare. Limini is a hurdler who will never go chasing, but she could go back on the Flat. The Ascot Stakes [on the first day of the Royal Meeting] could suit. She's very free, and I'm not sure if going back on the Flat is the right idea, because it takes a while to settle her, but she has the ability. There must be a very good Flat race in her."

This was Mullins's 48th winner at The Festival, and he said: "I don't count the winners - I'm happy with each one."

RICCI ADDS LIMINI TO HIS EMBARRASMENT OF RICHES

The Rich Ricci-owned Limini ran out an impressive four and a half-length winner of the inaugural Grade Two Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle.

Having always travelled well under Ruby Walsh, the daughter of Peintre-Celebre quickened into the lead approaching the final flight before careering up the hill to give Ricci his fifth winner of the week at Presbury Park and 13th Festival success overall.

Ricci said: "That was a very good performance from Limini and I am delighted she has won. It was a dominant performance. She travelled nicely and jumped really well today, much better than she has done in her last two performances. I'm sure we will mix it on the Flat as we could have some fun off a mark of 89."

Ricci who also tasted success earlier today with Vautour in the Grade One Ryanair Chase highlighted the possibly of the mare heading to Australia: "Limini may be a Melbourne Cup type. She jumped very well which was great and she is a good filly. She would have to find quite a bit to get into the Melbourne Cup as she is only rated 89."

Ricci added: "I would definitely like to go back to Melbourne hopefully with her or hopefully with somebody else as it is a great place and it is great to race there so we will definitely be going back with something."

LIMINI GIVES WALSH HIS MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

Limini's win in the Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle means that jockey Ruby Walsh has now equalled his own record - set in 2009 - of seven winners at a single Festival.

He is set to receive the Boodles Leading Jockey award at the end of tomorrow, the final day of the 2016 Festival. It will be the 10th time in the past 13 years he has topped the jockeys' table at The Festival.

Limini, trained by Willie Mullins and owned by Rich and Susannah Ricci, won by four and a half lengths. She was the 8/11 favourite.

"She was the one we thought would win," said Walsh. "She has schooled really well for the past fortnight, really slick, and she's a high-class filly who could do well on the Flat as well.

"She's straightforward - she did swish her tail a bit today, which isn't like her - but she travelled and jumped well. If she'd got beat, it wouldn't have made sense.

"Willie has the horses in unbelievable form. It's a great team to be part of."

1) Limini (Susannah Ricci) Willie Mullins IRE 5-11-07 Ruby Walsh 8/11 Fav
2) Dusky Legend (Richard & Lizzie Kelvin Hughes) Alan King 6-11-02 Wayne Hutchionson 50/1
3) Bloody Mary (J P McManus) Nicky Henderson 5-11-07 Barry Geraghty 7/1

16 ran
Distances: 4 ½, 2 ½

48th winner at The Festival for trainer Willie Mullins (7th of 2016)
52nd winner at The Festival for jockey Ruby Walsh (7th of 2016) - most successful jockey of all-time at The Festival
BetBright Cup: Great Britain 10, Ireland 10

DUSKY A LEGEND FOR WAYNE

Limini may have destroyed her rivals with a bloodless four and a half-length victory in the Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham this afternoon but jockey Wayne Hutchinson was delighted with the performance of 50/1 chance Dusky Legend, who ran on strongly to claim second spot.

The Alan King-trained mare travelled nicely for her pilot and belied her starting price to run a race full of encouragement and give Hutchinson plenty to look forward to in the future.

"She's run a cracker," the jockey said.

"She's a bit ground dependant and this is the first time in her career she's had proper good ground - it's made all the difference.

"She's travelled well, jumped great and ran all the way to the line. We've just bumped into another Mullins hotshot sadly!"

Dusky Legend is owned by Richard and Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes, whose Trull House Stud sponsored the race. One of their other two runners, Robins Reef, finished fourth (his other runner, Chocca Wocca, finished 10th).

Barry Geraghty, jockey of the Nicky Henderson-trained mare Bloody Mary, who finished a further two and a half lengths back in third, was also happy with the performance of his mount.

"She's run well," said the jockey.

"She's travelled nicely but just didn't quite have the speed of the other two."

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