Owner Tony Bloom will be hoping to see his racing silks carried to victory by the giant Penhill in Thursday’s Grade Two Guinness Novice Hurdle at Limerick.
Willie Mullins trains Penhill, who was last seen when finishing fourth in the Grade One Royal Bond Novice Hurdle – form that got a boost when the runner-up Saturnas scored at the top level at Leopardstown on Tuesday.
Penhill steps up markedly in trip for this three-mile assignment, but Mullins’ son and assistant Patrick expects him to thrive for the extra distance.
He said: “We’re expecting Penhill to improve for the step up in trip.
“His jumping wasn’t quick enough for a Grade One over two miles, so we hope the slower pace will help him in that respect.
“He was a stayer on the Flat so three miles shouldn’t worry him”
Mullins also has Livelovelaugh in the mix, with that runner having already shown his stamina when winning over three miles in a point-to-point back in 2014.
“I ride Livelovelaugh and I think this race is made for him,” said the younger Mullins.
“He’s not flashy and he settles very well, which is a big advantage.
“Faugheen won this race for us a few years ago.”
Noel Meade’s Rathnure Rebel bids for a third successive victory and landed a Grade Three at Cork earlier in the month.
The field is completed by Call The Taxie, who represents Ellmarie Holden and Rachael Blackmore, and He Rock’s.
The latter is trained by Steve Mahon, who said: “A couple of runs back he got murdered by my own horse at Galway. I was then disappointed when he didn’t get into the Troytown at Navan (when first reserve), but that’s the way things go.
“The three-mile-five trip proved far enough for him last time and we’re putting the visors on this time.”