Faugheen, Annie Power & Alpha Des Obeaux head Big Name Entries for Fairyhouse Winter Festival
Tuesday, 15 November 2016 at 12:00pm
All three Bar One Racing-sponsored
Grade 1 races on the second day of the Fairyhouse Winter Festival on Sunday,
December 4th, have attracted some of the biggest names in National Hunt racing.
Boasting increased prize-money of €100,000, the Grade 1 Bar One Racing Hatton’s
Grace Hurdle has attracted an entry of 26 horses, an increase of 11 on last
year. Successful in the race with Hurricane Fly in 2010, Zaidpour in 2012 and
with Arctic Fire last year, Willie Mullins has entered 12 horses including
Faugheen who hasn’t run since his facile victory in the BHP Insurances Irish
Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown in January. He could also be represented by
leading mares Annie Power and Vroum Vroum Mag while the likes of Clondaw
Warrior, Ivan Grozny, Nichols Canyon and Yorkhill make up a remarkably strong
team for the champion trainer.
Gordon Elliott has yet to win the Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle and he
has seven entries, headed by Apple’s Jade and Saturday’s Naas winner Missy
Tata, to choose from. Snow Falcon ran out an impressive winner of the Lismullen
Hurdle at Navan and he has been given an entry by Noel Meade while Gavin
Cromwell could yet be represented by his star filly Jer’s Girl, the winner of
two Grade 1 races last season.
Mullins and Elliott dominate the entries for the Grade 1 Bar One Racing
Drinmore Novice Chase but the season’s leading trainers might not have it all
their own way in the €85,000 contest. Mouse Morris has entered recent winners
Alpha Des Obeaux and Nambour while Tony Martin has put Anibale Fly, successful
at Navan on Sunday, in the race and Noel Meade could well run the impressive
Punchestown scorer Disko.
Jessies Dream gave Gordon Elliott his first Grade 1 success in the Bar One
Drinmore Novice Chase in 2010 and he has entered 12 horses as he bids to add to
the more recent wins in the race of the mighty Don Cossack in 2013 and No More
Heroes last year. Diamond King, so impressive on his chasing debut at Galway
last month and the Tipperary winner Jetstream Jack look to head his team.
Willie Mullins won the race as a jockey on the Jim Bolger-trained Clash Of The
Ash in 1981 and he has three further victories as a trainer to his name. He has
entered four horses and of the quartet, only Briar Hill has run over fences,
winning at Killarney in August. However, Bellshill, Rathvinden and Yorkhill all
showed enough over hurdles to warrant their inclusion.
Mullins saddled Long Dog and Bachasson to finish first and second respectively
in the Grade 1 Bar One Royal Bond Novice Hurdle last year and he has made seven
entries this time. The unbeaten Airlie Beach continues on an upward curve and
is certainly worthy of her place in the early line-up as is Saturnas who was so
impressive on his first start for the Closutton trainer at Naas on Saturday.
Also with seven entries is Gordon Elliott who has put Sunday’s Grade 3 For Auction
Novice Hurdle winner Labaik in the race along with Blood Crazed Tiger, the
winner of his last four races. The promising Stretchingthetruth could carry the
hopes of Noel Meade.
Barney O’Hare, Managing
Director of Bar One Racing, said, “It's great to see so many
talented horses from the top stables entered up for our big day of racing on
December 4th at the Fairyhouse Winter Festival. The excitement is really
starting to build and the countdown is on to what is going to be a fantastic
meeting at a fixture which has a rich history.”
Peter Roe, General Manager of
Fairyhouse Racecourse, said, “The Fairyhouse Winter Festival is
again set to be a highlight of the pre-Christmas National Hunt season. Last
year we witnessed three top-class winners of our three Grade 1 races in No More
Heroes, Long Dog and Arctic Fire. We are delighted with the quality and depth
of this year’s entrants and we look forward to another weekend of top-class
racing. While bookings for our hospitality offering is very strong for both
days, there is still limited space remaining. The weekend has become a very
popular feature of the first half of the jumps season in Ireland and is again
strongly supported by Bar One Racing.”