Missy Tata displays Cheltenham Festival credentials in Limerick breeze

Wed 28 Dec 2016

All roads lead to the Cheltenham Festival for Missy Tata after the progressive filly recorded a fifth win on the bounce at Limerick.

Sent off the 2-5 favourite for the Listed Irish Independent Hurdle, Gordon Elliott's inmate glided six and a half lengths clear of Cap D'Aubois in a three-runner affair over two miles.

Elliott's assistant Olly Murphy said: " I don't think two miles is her ideal trip so we decided to ride her nice and positive.Her Gold Cup is going to be the two-and-a-half-mile Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham."

Murphy added:"She is improving the whole time but I doubt we'll see the real article until she goes jumping fences.

"She is straightforward and stays going well and will have one more run or will go straight to Cheltenham.

"She is one to look forward to."

Stable companion Stone Hard (7-4) could also be a horse to follow after he eased 12 lengths clear of Double Island in the D Pack Packaging Celebrating 10 Years In Business Beginners Chase.

Murphy said of the Gigginstown House Stud-owned six-year-old: "We actually had him as a youngster and he was a horse we always thought a lot of.

"He obviously went to Willie's (Mullins) and came back to us.

"This wasn't a surprise as his work at home was very good.He'll have to step up now but couldn't have been more impressive.

"He is a horse we think a lot of and might be starting to fill into himself now - he's a big shell of a horse."

Mullins had a four-timer at Leopardstown, but the on-song trainer was also on the scoresheet at Limerick withCoquin Mans.

The four-year-old, who sports the same colours as the much-missed Hurricane Fly, was a head too sharp for Surf Instructor in the Woodlands House Hotel Adare Maiden Hurdle on what was his first start for Mullins.

Jockey Paul Townend said of the 1-3 favourite: "He was green the whole way around in everything he did and he can only improve in every way.Ability got him through, I thought, and he has to improve."

Trainer Steve Mahon also enjoyed a good day, with Ballyluskey (8-1) winning the concluding bumper and stablemate Smokey Joe Joe (10-1) on the mark in the Cube Veterans Handicap Chase.

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