Missunited set for big year ahead
Missunited is the star turn at Limerick on Thursday when the Mick Winters-trained mare makes her reappearance in the Summer Twilight Nights Race in a season that could see her take in the Ascot Gold Cup.
The seven-year-old faces just two rivals in the shape of last year's winner El Salvador and recent Gowran Park maiden scorer Cosmic Cannonball.
The daughter of Golan, home-bred by Dan and Vanessa Hutch, proved a real money-spinner last year winning the Guinness Galway Hurdle and returning to Galway the following month to land the Listed Ardilaun Hotel Oyster Stakes on the Flat.
Seamie Heffernan will again be on board, and Winters reports her in great form.
He said: "Seamie rode her after racing at Clonmel last week and he was happy with her. He said she got a bit tired up the straight, but she's in good order.
"We never thought we'd be going back to a mile and a half with her, and it will probably be a game of tactics with just three runners. Two miles and two and a half miles is her trip, really.
"The owners had her at home and have had her riding out for a while. She's come back looking a million dollars. She's always improved from her runs and I'm sure she will again. She looks fantastic in her coat and her attitude is very sweet, which is important.
"I wouldn't mind heavy ground as long as it was loose, so some rain would be a help. She wouldn't really like tacky, holding ground."
Looking ahead, Winters said: "The Martin Molony Stakes (Listed) could be next on the agenda after this (at Limerick on April 26), and if she stays in form she could go for the Gold Cup at Ascot.
"Then you would have a month or six weeks before the Galway Hurdle. She is still nicely rated on 144 over hurdles compared to the really top mares like Annie Power and Quevega who are about 20lb higher. The prize-money is huge at Galway.
"There are plenty of good staying races for her to aim at later in the year, all the Cup races, but we'll space them out a bit more. As a young mare she was winning races easily and ran two or three times in the space of a few weeks, but she will be operating at a higher level now."