The Willie Mullins-trained Duc Des Genievres scored a
13-length success in the Grade 1 Arkle Chase under Paul Townend while Rachael
Blackmore coasted to a 16-length victory on A Plus Tard in the Close Brothers
Novices´ Handicap Chase for trainer Henry De Bromhead.
Mullins won the Ryanair Gold Cup for the first-time last
year with subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo and could also be
represented by the hugely promising Chacun Pour Soi which impressed on his
Irish debut with a 31-length success in a beginners’ chase at Naas. Grade 1
runner-up Getabird and Burrows Saint are further notable entries from the
Hardline, which was sent off favourite for the Arkle Chase
at Cheltenham last month and Champagne Classic which was just behind Chris’s
Dream at Navan last time are among Gordon Elliott’s entries standing their
An intriguing runner would be Pat Doyle’s impressive Naas
winner Kaiser Black while the Aidan Howard-trained Winter Escape and Noel
Meade’s Rathnure Rebel add further spice to the €100,000 event.
Cheltenham form is also likely to play its part in the
destination of the Grade 1 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle.
Willie Mullins landed the Grade 2 Mares´ Novices´ Hurdle at
the Festival with Eglantine Du Seuil and she could again clash with the Gordon
Elliott-trained pair Tintangle and Black Tears which were placed third and
fourth respectively at Cheltenham. Elfile was sixth in the same race for Mullins
and is among the 21 horses going forward.
Also entered is the Philip Dempsey-trained Caravation, the
winner of her last two starts and Henry De Bromhead’s Honeysuckle which is
unbeaten in three runs including the Grade 3 Solerina Hurdle at Fairyhouse in
January. Sassy Diva, successful in the valuable Irish Stallion Farms EBF Paddy
Mullins Mares Handicap Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown,
could represent Ratoath trainer Shane Crawley. Jonjo O’Neill’s Annie Mc was an
easy winner at Newbury and remains a possible runner.
Peter Roe, General Manager of Fairyhouse Racecourse, said: “We
are delighted with the strength and depth of entries for our twin feature races
on Sunday. The Grade 1 Ryanair Gold Cup looks like being one of the races of
the season with two Cheltenham festival winners and some of the top Irish novices
that didn’t travel looking to line up.
“The Grade 1 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle has
attracted the Cheltenham winner Eglantine Du Seuil along with the unbeaten Honeysuckle
and a number of others which are set to make it a cracker of a race.
“The ground at Fairyhouse is currently yielding, good to
yielding in places following 23 mm of rain in the last 36 hours. We are
expecting a dry few days followed by some rain over the weekend and are
monitoring the situation with regard to watering.”