Fairyhouse Easter Sunday targets for Irish Cheltenham heroes
Tuesday, 16 April 2019 at 01:47PM
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 champion trainer.
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 ground.
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 Fairyhou se 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.”