Fairyhouse set for super Sunday of Grade 1 action


Three huge races make for a BARONERACING.COM Winter Festival to savour

Thursday, November 25, 2021
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Honeysuckle powers home in the 2020 Hatton's Grace Hurdle


Honeysuckle’s pursuit of a hat-trick, stars of the future making a name for themselves and leading trainers looking to create more history.

It’s all set up for a super Sunday of action on day two of the BARONERACING.COM Winter Festival at Fairyhouse, with three Grade 1 races taking pride of place on the afternoon’s card.

Here’s what lies in store from a tantalising treble…

BARONERACING.COM Royal Bond Novice Hurdle (1.05pm)

First up is a race which features on the CV of a whole host of legendary names.

Hurricane Fly, Moscow Flyer and Hardy Eustace are among those to count the Royal Bond among their triumphs and this year’s renewal sees the latest chance for a statement of intent from a raft of promising contenders.

Gordon Elliott has won this race in each of the past two years, courtesy of Envoi Allen and Ballyadam, and has entered Mighty Potter and Three Stripe Life in his pursuit of three on the spin.

 

 

The latter won over the same distance at Fairyhouse at the start of November while Mighty Potter is one of six in the field yet to be beaten over hurdles.

No one has won this race more than Willie Mullins, who has three in the hunt as he looks for Royal Bond victory number nine.

Arctic Warrior, Farout and Statuaire make up the Closutton challenge while Gavin Cromwell’s My Mate Mozzie and Impervious, trained by Colm Murphy, are fresh from recent Grade 3 wins at Navan and Down Royal respectively.

“Impervious definitely deserves her chance in the race and we are looking forward to running her,” Murphy said.

“She seems to be improving with every run. You are always hoping you come across a nice one and we think she is.”

BARONERACING.COM Drinmore Novice Chase (1.35pm)

Three of the last four Drinmore Novice Chase’s have gone the way of Elliott on his local track and he has two in the running as he looks for a record-extending seventh win.

Fury Road was second on his chasing debut earlier this month and Grand Paradis is looking for improvement after falling two from home on his first trip over fences at Down Royal.

 

 

That race was won impressively by Jessica Harrington’s Lifetime Ambition and she is looking forward to seeing how her six-year-old fares among stiffer competition.

“It's going to be a tough ask as it looks a very good race but he seems to have improved for going chasing and he loves jumping,” she said.

Gavin Cromwell’s Gabynako is another with an eye-catching recent win, landing the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee Beginners Chase at Fairyhouse, while Bleu Berry is Willie Mullins’ sole shot.

A third of the dozen entries are trained by Joseph O’Brien, with Fire Attack, Midnight Run and Global Equity flying the flag for Piltown. Beacon Edge, for Noel Meade, completes the line-up.

BARONERACING.COM Hatton’s Grace Hurdle (2.05pm)

The day’s showpiece is headlined by Honeysuckle, Henry de Bromhead’s star mare who remains unbeaten heading into her 14th run.

De Bromhead reported her as in ‘great form’ earlier this week and she will now seek to emulate Solerina and Apple’s Jade in winning three Hatton’s Grace Hurdles in succession.

 

 

The race marks a step back up in trip for the seven-year-old, who has not raced over 2m4f since winning this contest last year.

Elsewhere in the field, Paul Nolan is looking forward to seeing how Latest Exhibition fares on his return to hurdles, following a ‘disappointing’ chasing season last time out.

“He won a beginners' chase and that's all […] but we retain a huge amount of faith in him,” he said.

“He hasn’t many miles on the clock and I can't wait to see him back."

Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott, both three-time winners, have five entries between them, with the former represented by Stormy Ireland and Saldier.

Elliott’s Abacadabras, withdrawn from the Morgiana Hurdle on the morning of the race, is set for his first appearance of the season and is joined by stablemate Sire Du Berlais.

Darasso, Ronald Pump, Sams Profile and Skyace are also gunning for glory in a contest worth €59,000 to the winner.

She seems to be improving with every run. You are always hoping you come across a nice one and we think she is

- Colm Murphy on Impervious

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