Miss hits the Limerick target
Last Updated: March 17, 2013 5:53pm
Barry Geraghty: Got the better of Ruby Walsh in the mares' novice hurdle
Missunited got back on the winning trail after a thrilling climax to the Kerry Group EBF Mares Novice Hurdle at Limerick.
Mick Winters' talented mare won four races on the spin in the space of a month last summer and was then a good second in the Irish Cesarewitch.
She disappointed on her jumps return at Down Royal in early November, but was not disgraced following a winter break when fourth in last month's Red Mills Hurdle at Gowran Park.
Back against her own sex for this Grade Three contest, Missunited was an 11/8 second favourite behind Twigline, representing the Cheltenham Festival's leading trainer and jockey Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh.
Barry Geraghty went for home first aboard Missunited, but Walsh covered his move aboard the even-money market leader and the grey took a narrow lead on touching down after the final obstacle.
It was nip and tuck all the way up the run-in, but Missunited won the argument by half a length.
Winters said: "It was a ding-dong battle between two top men and there was no quarter given. She jumped fantastic during the week and again here.
"I was more confident early in the week but the ground was terrible and she will be better on better ground. She will be entered in a Grade One at Fairyhouse and then Punchestown as well."
The second Grade Three of the afternoon was the ITBA Fillies Scheme EBF Dawn Run Mares Novice Chase, which went to the Noel Kelly-trained Charlie's Vic.
Avondhu Lady led from the home turn, but Charlie's Vic (5/1) reeled her in on the run-in and got up by a neck under a fine ride from Derek Fox.
County Derry-based Kelly said: "The plan was to run in this race after she won her beginners chase.
"She jumped well and she probably needs three miles, even though she is only a six-year-old. Fairyhouse is only two weeks away and that might be a bit sharp for her."