The National Hunt season is underway and this weekend’s showpiece comes in the shape of the JT McNamara Ladbrokes Munster National this Sunday.
The 3m handicap – worth €100,000 – is the highlight of the two-day Munster meeting at Limerick Racecourse.
There are a handful of big names in contention with Joseph O’Brien, Willie Mullins, Henry De Bromhead, and Mouse Morris among the trainers aiming at the big prize.
Oddly, another high-profile trainer, Gordon Elliott, has decided against declaring any entries.
Arkwrisht and Total Recall are the joint-favourites at 6/1 in this 29-strong field.
And Michael O’Leary will be hopeful of a win with Arkwrisht considering Gigginstown’s recent dominance of the big Irish handicaps.
Having been beaten by half a length by his stablemate Potters Point in the Kerry National last month, connections are confident the seven-year-old will be in with a strong chance.
Willie Mullins has never won this race before and looks like he’ll be banking on the former Sandra Hughes stayer Total Recall. This will be the eight-year-old’s first run under Mullins.
Winner of the 2014 renewal, Shanpallas is one of seven entries from JP McManus at 16/1.
Another, Slowmotion, was third in the Galway Plate, and can also be backed at 16/1.
Mouse Morris is a six-time winner of Munster National and should be in contention again this year.
His entries are led by Alpha Des Obeaux at 10/1 and Dromnea at 14/1. The latter was successful in the Southampton Goodwill Chase at the Listowel festival last month.
Winner in 2015 with Saddler’s Risk, Henry De Bromhead was also second here last year with Stellar Nation.
The nine-year-old goes again here at 25/1 but it’s the top-rated Devils Bride at the same price who the Waterford trainer will be pinning hopes on.
Overall it looks an incredibly and competitive renewal this year. We can’t wait.
Click here for the latest JT McNamara Munster National odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing