It was always likely to be a tough decision but Ruby Walsh has decided to ride 5/4 favourite Limini in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle over an extended two-miles and four furlongs at the Festival next week, thereby giving the ride on last year’s winner Vroum Vroum Mag to Willie Mullins’ number two Paul Townend.
Originally touted as being supplemented for the Stan James Champion Hurdle, connections decided to keep Limini running against her own sex at the Festival following an impressive reappearance in which she accounted for another rival in Tuesday’s contest, Apple’s Jade in the Listed Quevega Mares Hurdle at Punchestown last month.
Closutton maestro Mullins has won eight of the nine runnings of the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle, with Quevega notably winning six consecutive editions of the race.
Walsh, who rode Vroum Vroum Mag to victory in this contest last year however, deserts the eight-year-old in favour of Limini in what looks set to be a superb clash.
Vroum Vroum Mag was beaten by Apple’s Jade in the Hatton’s Grace on her first start this season but has won her last two starts, winning by a head on her latest start at Doncaster. Having gone on a course of antibiotics following that race, she will look to serve it up to her six-year-old stable-mate.
Other notable entrants in the race include Apple’s Jade, dual-Grade One winner Jer’s Girl, Lifeboat Mona and Colin’s Sister.