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Press Release 15th March 2024 Cheltenham


Friday 15th March                    

Owner JP McManus had already been crowned Leading Owner at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival when his famous green and gold silks were carried to victory by Limerick Lace in the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase.

The seven-year-old held on to see off the challenge of Dinoblue, also owned by McManus, by three-quarters of a length.

Winning trainer Gavin Cromwell said: “That was fantastic. Keith was very good on her as she’s not straightforward. She’s a bit of a madam and she nearly kicked a cameraman on her way out. She’s broken a lot of white rail at home. She's a bit of a lady, but you don't mind when they are as good as that.

“I’m delighted for Keith and for everybody. He turned it into as much of a test as he could as she stays really well and was second in the Troytown. She’s a full sister to yesterday’s winner of the Kim Muir, Inothewayurthinkin. I’m sure it’s happened before but I don’t suppose it’s happened too often.

“On the day over the two and a half it probably played more to her strengths than to Dino Blue’s, as she’s very speedy, but they are two very good mares.

She's in the Grand National, and I suppose that's a possibility.“

Cromwell today RacingTV: Gavin Cromwell (Limerick Lace): “She showed a bit of heart. I’m delighted for Keith, he is a big part of the team and that was well deserved. He gave her a lovely ride, turned it into a good test, and she stayed on well. She was genuine, she was in front from a long way out and had to battle.”

Asked about the mare flashing her tail and having a kick in the pre-parade ring, Cromwell said: “She’s always like that, she’s improved on what she used to be like, that’s just her, she’s a bit of a madam, but she’s showed guts and determination. She’s a full sister to Inothewayurthinkin, who won last night.”

On the satisfaction of training winners for JP McManus and how far this mare could go in future, he said: “Brilliant, it’s fantastic. I can’t say enough. We are at the top, I’m just delighted. She is in the National as well, so we will see how she comes out of here. It’s all about today.”

Winning jockey Keith Donoghue said: : “The more rain, the happier we were getting. We knew she would handle the ground and stay well; we were just hoping that would stretch Dinoblue a bit, but ours is a very good mare in her own right. But we had everything in our favour today. She keeps progressing, and she’s been rejuvenated this year, really, and I was delighted to get the ride on her today.

“I knew there was going to be a little bit of pace in the race. You can’t really force her, you have to let her warm up into it as well. She can be a bit of a woman sometimes, she’s a bit headstrong, so you have to let her find her feet. When I got to the front I knew she was going to have a bit of a look, but I had to press on. When I got over the back of the last I could see the big screen, I knew something was there, and I couldn’t wait for the line to come.

“I could feel Dinoblue but I could feel she wasn’t really getting to me, if you know what I mean. If she was going to come at me I wanted it to be earlier, not late, because I thought mine might pick up, but thankfully the line came in time.

“Gavin has had a great week, and Flooring Porter ran a cracker in the Stayers’ Hurdle as well. I’ve had two seconds and a third this week and I thought, ‘Oh God, my chance has gone’, so to get a winner is brilliant.”

Limerick Lace has a Randox Grand National entry, and Donoghue was asked about the possibility of her running at Aintree. He said: “Obviously that is up to Frank [Berry], JP [McManus] and Gavin, but I know Gavin would be keen enough for her to go. I think she’s like it, she’s a brilliant jumper. She wouldn’t want the ground to be too quick, that’s the only thing I’d say, but she has the ability.

“Winning a race apart from the Cross Country here is something I have wanted to do for a while - I’ve had plenty of seconds here in other races, so I wanted to win one so that people don’t think I can ride in other races apart from the Cross Country!”

4.50pm Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase (Grade 2) 2m 5f

1 Limerick Lace 3-1

2 Dinoblue 15-8F

3 Marsh Wren 28-1

9 ran

Distances: ¾, 5½,

Time: 5m 34.77s

5th winner at The Festival for jockey Keith Donoghue

6th winner at The Festival for trainer Gavin Cromwell

78th winner at The Festival for owner JP McManus


Ireland 17

Great Britain 9


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