Munster National Tips: Sting the bookies with Scorpion

This year's renewal of the Munster National looks a wide open one at Limerick.
This year's renewal of the Munster National looks a wide open one at Limerick.

Karl Hedley previews Sunday's feature over in Ireland, the Munster National at Limerick, and picks out his best bet in the race...

This will be a massive test of endurance for all runners given the likelihood of heavy ground at Limerick races this weekend. The stamina-sapping feature is the penultimate race on the card, so the track will be well and truly cut up come race time. There are some genuine up and coming sorts in the line-up. There are also some who cannot be truly trusted, especially based on recent evidence. 

A key trial for this race came last month, when several of the race's combatants lined up in opposition to one another in the Kerry National at Listowel. Of those that raced, it was last years’ runner-up in this race who actually came out best. Na Trachtalai Abu finished third with Internal Transfer, Oscar Knight and Movewiththetimes all beaten off in behind, and the disappointing Drumcliff was eventually pulled up. Given almost identical conditions today, there should be no reason for that form to be turned on it’s head, but there are several others in the race who may prove to be the ultimate ace in the pack

Black Scorpion could well be the one to be on here, as he bids to improve on his third-placed effort from last year. He was given two prep runs earlier this season over trips that are far short of his best, where he was far from disgraced at Listowel and Killarney, respectively. A return to this track and this trip will be ideal, and with his likely exaggerated waiting tactics, he can atone for his defeat last season when sent off as the beaten favourite. With those previous runs under his belt, he is likely to have any cobwebs well and truly blown away, and his injection of speed in the closing stages could well prove decisive. 

Another to consider despite carrying top weight is Snugsborough Benny, who was quite well-fancied in the Irish Grand National back in the Spring. The lack of a recent run is not so much of a concern as it should be, but the weight on this surface certainly would be. He has won off similar breaks in the past, but never on ground as testing as this. He is certainly capable of making his presence felt given the attitudes and somewhat desperate form of many of his rivals. Giving this amount of weight away to all of his rivals may just undo his winning chance. He has also won and been placed twice from three previous visits to this track, so he is certainly one to consider if you are going in each way.

It is extremely hard to knock the chances of Na Trachtalai Abu. He is clearly in great form and he is a little better off at weights this year with Spider Web. The ground is certainly a concern, but he has proven that he can be competitive in fields of this nature. Spider Web appears to have gone off the boil since winning this race last season and he is 7 lb higher as a result.

Luke Dempsey jumps ship to ride The Big Lense, who has had the opposite sort of year in comparison to Spider Web. He is only a six year old, but winning his last two races has shown him to be a horse with immense improvement in him. Of the five JP McManus owned runners, he would be the one I would be most interested in despite reservations about the ground.

This is truly an exciting race with so many unknowns thrown into the mix. The one constant that I do keep coming back to is Black Scorpion, and with a relative lightweight to carry my opinion on him only hardens. 


Sunday 13th October 2019 - Black Scorpion @ 7/1

Karl Hedley's Munster National 1-2-3-4

1. Black Scorpion

2. Na Trachtalai Abu

3. Snugsborough Benny

4. The Big Lense

Munster National
Black Scorpion silk

Black Scorpion

Pulled Up
Today's Race Cards
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