SPORTS ROUND-UP: Kerry National a likely target for The Real Whacker

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The Real Whacker winning the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

CHELTENHAM festival headline-maker The Real Whacker is likely to be aimed at the Kerry National in Listowel next September, according to its trainer.

Ballysteen native Paddy Neville fulfilled a boyhood dream when his 8/1 shot – owned by Rathkeale hotelier Davy Mann – won a thrilling edition of the £100,000 (first prize) Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase.

“We’ll see how he comes out of this. We might put him away for the summer or we might go to Punchestown. We might go to Listowel in the Autumn (Kerry National) as it’s one of my favourite tracks.”

Limerick businessman JP McManus of Martinstown, who posted three wins (A Dream to Share, Impervious, and Sire Du Berlais) across the festival was a popular recipient of the Leading Owner accolade at Prestbury Park. 

McManus has now savoured festival success on 72 occasions. 

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On the local front, Greenmount Park will stage an attractive National Hunt card on Sunday next, featuring The Coolagown Stud Novice Steeplechase of €28,500 (Grade 3) and The Kevin McManus Bookmaker Champion (Pro/Am) Flat Race of €35,000 (Listed Race).

SOCCER:

IN-FORM Ballynanty Rovers – who are also in the last four of the FAI Junior Cup away to Newmarket Celtic on Sunday week – qualified for the semi-finals of the Munster Junior Cup following a superb 3-0 win against College Corinthians. 

The goals flowed through Habideen Gbadebo, Dermot Ftzgerald, and multitalented Josh Adams.

Also through to the semi-finals are holders Fairview Rangers, 3-2 (AET) winners over Peake Villa. The Rangers goals came from Jeffery Judge, Steven Bradley, and inspirational substitute Jack Arra. 

Joining Rovers and Rangers in the next stage are Regional United, who overcame Avondale FC 4-0. On the scoresheet for the winners were Kieran O’Connell, Andrew Cowpar, and Eoin Duff (2).

At senior level, Treaty United will seek their first win of the First Division at the expense of Waterford United who are visitors to the Markets Field on this Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm). 

On Monday, Treaty were beaten 3-2 by Cobh Ramblers in the semi-final of the Munster Senior Cup at Jackman Park. 

GAA:

AFTER an eight-year absence, Limerick GAA has – courtesy of editor Paul Anglim – produced a worthy 2023 Annual which runs to an impressive 420 pages. 

Inside its covers is ‘Question Time’ from contributor Michael Griffin, including the puzzler: Who was top scorer in last year’s Limerick Senior Hurling Championship?

One may well wonder just how many would have answered correctly (Tom Morrissey of Ahane with 3-57).