Rhys Williams

Horse Racing Tips: Rhys Williams has a 50/1 NAP at Limerick

Our racing expert has five selections on Friday

Our resident tipster has analysed Friday's racing and has five selections at big prices at Limerick.

  • Showed early promise in points

  • This was always going to be a more suitable trip

  • Master Splinter is overpriced at Limerick

Limerick - 17:10 - Back Master Splinter

I think this is quite a good maiden hurdle for the time of year with My Gaffer having run well at Punchestown last time, Littlefoot having shown a good level of ability in bumpers, Ideal De Ciergues having some fair form over hurdles and Manisanda a possible improver for the addition of a tongue tie and she may have had a wind op since the last run. However, there's one at a big price who I think could run significantly better than his price suggests.

Following his victory in a Winners of One at Toomebridge in October, a bloodstock agent asked for my opinion on Master Splinter.

My view was that he may be a 2-miler given the evidence of his three runs but wasn't worth the large amount that was being asked for. Those three runs and his four runs since suggest that both of those could be correct and he finally gets his chance to run over two miles today.

He made the running on debut and was clear of the field with Bubble Dubi going down the back straight for the final time. They were still just over ten lengths clear at 2 out but Master Splinter had little left in the home straight and faded to finish fifth.

He controlled a fairly steady pace when making all at Dromahane on his second start. Having been two lengths clear leaving the back straight, he quickened further ahead with ease turning the final bend and was still over five lengths clear at the last but was almost caught on the run-in.

The sharp track and controlling another slow pace played to Master Splinter's strengths when following up at Toomebridge when winning with far more in hand than the margin suggests.

Since then he's generally struggled with more patient tactics around tracks that provide a greater test of stamina not suiting on his next two starts. He ran quite well in an Open at Dromahane two starts ago when back on good ground but disappointed last time at Toomebridge.

It is a bit worrying that Master Splinter ran quite so poorly last time even allowing for the ground being softer than ideal but I think this sharper test will give him a better opportunity to show his true ability and hopefully they will revert to riding him handily now sharply dropped in trip.

The ability he showed earlier in his career suggests he could be more competitive in this than his price suggests and any 20/121.00 or bigger appeals.

Back Master Splinter in the 17:10 at Limerick 1pt e/w


Limerick - 17:45 - Back Lucky Viv

Lucky Viv was well held on her hurdling debut at Killarney last time but there are reasons to think she could improve on that today.

She had shown a tendency in points to jump out to the right and she did so throughout the race at Killarney which frequently cost her ground and left her with plenty to do leaving the back straight. She stayed on a bit in the closing stages to finish seventh without ever being competitive.

I'm hoping the switch to a right-handed track can bring improvement from her and that they look to ride her handier that was the case at Killarney now that she's gained that hurdling experience. This is a weak contest where even the favourite has questions to answer and any 25/126.00 or bigger appeals.

Back Lucky Viv in the 17:45 at Limerick 0.5pt e/w


Limerick - 17:45 - Back Manhattan Lady

In the same race I think Manhattan Lady is another who has the potential to run well at a big price.

She failed to get past the second hurdle on debut but got further next time at Leopardstown in a much stronger maiden hurdle than the one she contests today. She was still in touch on the run to 2 out but suddenly stopped to nothing and finished tailed off.

That performance suggested she likely needed a wind op and given the time Manhattan Lady has had off the track since that run and the application of a tongue tie for the first time today, I think there's a good chance that she's had one. A hood also goes on for the first time, which may help her settle a bit better early on than was the case at Leopardstown.

It may turn out that she just had a big hole in her once asked for an effort but in such a weak race I think she's overpriced and any 25/126.00 or bigger appeals.

Back Manhattan Lady in the 17:45 at Limerick 0.5pt e/w


Limerick - 19:45 - Back Battle Of Benburb

Arctic Ambition might just be too good for this field racing off a 27lb lower mark over hurdles than over fences but there are a couple at big prices who I think could run well.

Battle Of Benburb hasn't shown much of late but I think the switch back to hurdles and better ground could bring improvement from him. He won off a 2lb lower mark at Wexford last August and was sent off favourite off a 4lb higher mark at Listowel in September but was found to be blowing hard post race after pulling up.

He ran better than his finishing position suggests three starts ago at Wexford as he was very badly hampered at the start which meant that he was further behind at the first fence than he was at the finish.

He jumped awfully last time at Downpatrick when pulling up so I'm hoping the switch back to hurdles will see Battle Of Benburb in a better light and any 20/121.00 or bigger appeals.

Back Battle Of Benburb in the 19:45 at Limerick 0.5pt e/w


Limerick - 19:45 - Back Finding Freedom

Finding Freedom has shown nothing in three starts over hurdles but there are reasons to think he could fare better on handicap debut this evening.

He ran well on his final two starts in points, finishing a close sixth behind Kinbara before winning at Dromahane beating a subsequent bumper winner and two horses that are now rated 113 and 116 over hurdles.

He didn't run too badly in a point to point bumper at Fairyhouse but he's shown nothing in three starts over hurdles on unsuitably soft ground.

There is a worry that he might have a physical issue as he did weaken very quickly on hurdling debut and this is something that he's done before in points but the quality of his best form in points suggests he can be competitive off 89 and any 20/121.00 or bigger appeals.

Back Finding Freedom in the 19:45 at Limerick 0.5pt e/w


Recommended bets


Staked: 111.00pts

Returned: 109.03pts

P/L: -1.97pts


New customers only. Bet £10 on the Betfair Sportsbook at odds of min EVS (2.0) and receive £40 in FREE Bet Builders, Accumulators or Multiples to use on any sport. T&Cs apply.

Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.