2023 Irish Spring Double – Irish National & Lincoln

by | Mar 22, 2023

2023 Irish Spring Double – Irish National and Lincolnshire

For the first time, Dave Stevos is going to take on the Irish Spring Double. Last year, in separate previews, we backed Lord Lariat at 80s to win at Fairyhouse and Comfort Line at 25s to win the Lincoln at the Curragh. The Lord obliged and Comfort Line bumped into one and finished an excellent 2nd. Hopefully, we can repeat the trick this year, check out Dave’s each way 2023 Irish Spring Double tips below.

2023 Irish Lincolnshire Handicap: 4.35 Curragh – March 25th

First of all, the weather. It has been pretty wet here in Ireland the past few days, though things have brightened up this afternoon. However, there is unlikely to be any good in the ground description on Saturday. It is currently soft to heavy at the Curragh with a bit more rain due before racing on Saturday. What is currently forecast (up to 10mm) will maintain the current going so the percentage play is to back a soft ground horse.

Comfort Line, who has now left the Mulvanys, is back to try again off a mark of 85. He was 3rd in this on soft/heavy off 91 in 2021, he was 2nd last year off 84 and it would be no surprise if he makes a bold bid for his new trainer, Ado McGuinness, off a mark of 85. However, he just seems to always bump into one or two when running in this high Grade and it might just be that his chance to win this race has passed him by.

Murtagh Can Strike Again

Last year, Johnny Murtagh broke our hearts with Raadobarg. This year, he has three entered and the one I like at 25/1 is Miss Mirabell. This 4yo filly, a daughter of Footstepsinthesand, ticks quite a few boxes. Unraced at 2yo, she started off with a green but very promising debut when 5th in a Gowran maiden (8f sft). She showed the benefit of that run a month later when hacking up by 5L over the same C&D on good ground.

That performance impressed the handicapper, who awarded her a mark of 94. She proved his assessment correct, running a blinder in a Curragh 3yo fillies’ handicap over a mile (gd/yld), beat just 1.75l into 3rd. Nectaris won off 91 and is now rated 99 and Juncture was 2nd off 98 and she is now a Listed winner and rated 102. A below par run on good ground followed in July and Murtagh put her away, presumably for softer ground at the backend.

Black Type

She returned to action in September in a Gowran G3 over 9.5f (yld/sft). In first time cheekpieces she ran a cracker, despite finding the trip a bit too far. In a Listed heat At Naas (8f sft) on her next start she disappointed, but she was in first time blinkers so perhaps she resented them. Next time, at the same track in a very hot conditions race (8f hvy), it was a lot more like it. She finished a fine 4th, 2.5L behind the winner Cosmic Vega.

Murtagh’s filly was getting 6lbs from that rival at Naas and she gets 9lbs in the Lincoln, so she should be closing that gap. She was getting a pound from Current Option, just a length ahead in 3rd, and she’ll be getting 10lbs from him here if he runs. On that form, she is surely a 100+ filly when she gets her ground yet she gets into the Lincoln off 92.

Miss Mirabell just failed to cash in on her handicap mark at Dundalk on her last start of 2022, challenging far too wide and beat just 0.5L. An 84 day break followed that run and she reappeared with a tune up back at Dundalk a month ago.

I expect a much bigger performance now she is back on easy ground, especially with that sharpener under her belt. If she repeats the form she showed at Naas last November, a huge run should be on the cards at 25/1. I’d be happy to see a claimer on board and if any of you know the owner or Johnny Murtagh, tell them to book Billy Loughnane!

2023 Irish Spring Double – Lincolnshire: Miss Mirabell e/w @ 25/1 (5 places)

2023 Irish Grand National: 5.00 Fairyhouse – April 10th

As far as the ground at Fairyhouse in concerned, who knows what the weather will do. This far out it is impossible to predict what the prevailing conditions will be but usually, touch wood, the ground is on the half decent side. It was yielding in 2022 and 2021, good to yielding in 2019 and heavy in 2018. Hopefully the more recent trend continues because most horses that have been laid out for a race at this time of year would usually like to see yielding ground at the very worst.

Unfortunately, it looks like the Irish National maestro, Red McLoughlin, won’t have a runner this year. Lord Lariat is entered but he is probably heading for Aintree and his other entry is unlikely to sneak in. The one I’m going to back, in the hope that we get yielding ground (or better), is last year’s 7th in this race, Max Flamingo. Trained not far from the track in Stamullen by Francis Casey, this 8yo son of Kalanisi surely has a big staying pot in him at some stage and it looks like he’s been aimed at the race again.


He was still a novice when he ran in this race last season off a mark of 144. In the early stages he was a touch keen for Denis O’Regan and then when they were turning in for home, he was caught behind a wall of horses and was probably further back than he would have liked. He still pinged the last fence, which is always a good sign, and he kept on really well to be beat 8.75L for the win (and just 1.75L behind Gaillard Du Mesnil in 3rd).

For him to finish as close as he did was impressive considering how much went wrong. A month later at Killarney he won an ordinary Novice Chase before pulling up in the Mayo National two weeks later, that run surely coming far too soon. On his reappearance at Punchestown he ran a grand race in a Grade 3 over an inadequate trip and it was too soft next time out at Limerick.

A spin over hurdles at the Dublin Racing Festival in February should have left him spot on fitness wise. It looks like he has been laid out for this race again and at odds of 25/1, Max Flamingo is the second leg of our e/w 2023 Irish Spring Double. Small singles recommended too, just in case the ground isn’t in our favour at Fairyhouse.

2023 Irish Spring Double – Irish Grand National: Max Flamingo e/w @ 25/1 (4 places)



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