Asterion Forlonge takes Grade One challenge at Limerick

Asterion Forlonge is one of three runners for Willie Mullins in the Matchbook Betting Exchange Faugheen Novice Chase at Limerick on Saturday.

The Closutton handler has saddled five of the last 10 winners of the Grade One contest, with Faugheen himself bringing the house down when getting the better of Samcro 12 months ago.

Asterion Forlonge appears the stable’s first string this time around, with champion jockey Paul Townend travelling to Limerick for the ride.

The Grade One-winning hurdler impressed on his chasing debut at Punchestown last month and is favourite to follow up.

Mullins also saddles the JP McManus-owned Janidil and the only mare in the field in Colreevy.

Gordon Elliott’s Pencilfulloflead and Assemble from Joseph O’Brien’s yard complete the line-up.

The feature event on day two of Limerick’s Christmas meeting is the Grade Two Lyons Of Limerick Jaguar Land Rover Novice Hurdle, a race that has Faugheen, Penhill and Fury Road among those on the roll of honour.

Elliott fires a twin assault, with Farouk D’alene and Ragnar Lodbrok both declared. That pair are two of three representatives for Gigginstown House Stud along with Henry de Bromhead’s Baptism Of Fire.

Previous course winners Costalotmore and Carrolls Cottage are also in contention for what promises to be an attritional affair run over the best part of three miles.

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