Fakir D'oudairies set for Christmas assignment over busy festive period

Joseph O'Brien is confident the four-year-old will be able to step up after Fairyhouse win

Tuesday, December 03, 2019
Fakir D'oudairies ridden by Mark Walsh

Fakir D'oudairies ridden by Mark Walsh

Fakir D'oudairies, winner of the Grade 1 Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse on Sunday, will be one of trainer Joseph O'Brien's big name performers over the busy Christmas period, writes Tony O'hehir.

The exciting four-year-old is entered for the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase over 2m1f at Leopardstown on December 26 and the Grade 1 Matchbook Betting Exchange over 2m4f at Limerick on the same day.

O'Brien said on Monday: “Fakir D'oudairies is a brilliant jumper and that is his forte. He was very quick and accurate at Fairyhouse, especially in the last mile of the race. 

“We were quite confident that stepping up to 2m4f would suit him, but he'll have no problem dropping back in trip if we decide to run him at Leopardstown.

“He likes juice in the ground and that will be a factor when we are finalising plans."

O'Brien sent out three winners at Fairyhouse on Sunday and is now on the 176 winner mark for the calendar year, jumps and Flat, bettering his tally of 174 in 2018.

Cerberus and A Wave Of The Sea, who gave the trainer a one-two in the Grade 3 Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse, will clash again in the Grade 2 Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown on December 26.

“Cerberus jumped really well on Sunday and is a horse with plenty of pace,” he said. 

“A Wave Of The Sea's jumping was less fluent but he was giving Cerberus 4lb and I think Leopardstown will suit him better than Fairyhouse."

Eric Bloodaxe, who completed O'Brien's Fairyhouse treble when making a winning debut in the bumper, will next be seen at Leopardstown either in a winners bumper at the Christmas meeting or in a Grade 2 event at the Dublin Racing Festival in February.

Band Of Outlaws and Early Doors, both of whom won handicap hurdles at the Cheltenham Festival in March, will both be in action over Christmas.

“Early Doors is going over fences and will start off in a Beginners Chase probably at Leopardstown,” O'Brien said.

“Band Of Outlaws will be kept over hurdles this season and will go for either a handicap at Leopardstown or a Grade 3 race at Limerick.”

He likes juice in the ground and that will be a factor when we are finalising plans.
- Joseph O'Brien

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