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Fairyhouse Winter Festival Attracts The Best Of The Best

Tuesday, 29 November 2016 at 01:55PM

Having dominated on a high-class card at Navan on Sunday, Gordon Elliott is set to be well represented in all three Bar One Racing-sponsored Grade 1 races on the second day of the Fairyhouse Winter Festival this weekend. 

Elliott is chasing his first success in the Grade 1 Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle and is responsible for two of the remaining 10 entries with Apple’s Jade, a narrow runner-up in the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle last Saturday and Dedigout standing their ground. But Willie Mullins certainly looks to hold the upper hand as he has left a total of six horses, including Faugheen, Nichols Canyon and Vroum Vroum Mag in the race which boasts increased prize-money of €100,000 this year.

Gordon Elliott has won three of the last six editions of the Grade 1 Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase and is set to be strongly represented again. He has A Toi Phil, Diamond King, Lieutenant Colonel and Prince Of Scars to choose from.

But he might not have it all his own way as also in the line-up at this stage are the Mouse Morris-trained Alpha Des Obeaux, the Tony Martin-trained Anibale Fly and Edward Harty’s Coney Island. Road To Respect and Disko could yet carry the hopes of Noel Meade.  Fairyhouse Winter Festival

On the back of victories for Nichols Canyon in 2014 and Long Dog last year, Mullins is bidding to win the Grade 1 Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle for the third successive year and for the sixth time in all. He has three of the remaining eight entries and the trio, Penhill, Saturnas and Airlie Beach certainly appear to hold leading chances. Gordon Elliott could still run Bilko and Labaik while Peace News and Forge Meadow could represent Henry de Bromhead and Jessica Harrington respectively. Noel Meade has left in Le Martalin.

Peter Roe, Manager of Fairyhouse Racecourse, said, “This meeting is now firmly established as the most important fixture this side of Christmas. With six pattern races on Sunday ranging from the three-year-old hurdle to the Bar One Racing Porterstown Chase over the Irish Grand National course and distance along with three Grade 1 races, it is a day not to be missed. This meeting has developed thanks to the support of Bar One Racing and in particular, Barney O’Hare. The forecast for the weekend is good and the ground is currently yielding, good to yielding in places.”

Barney O’Hare, Managing Director of Bar One Racing, said, “We are delighted with the strength in depth in all our races at Fairyhouse on Sunday and it confirms this meeting as the most important fixture in the first half of the National Hunt season. With a good forecast we are looking forward to seeing another bumper crowd for Bar One Racing’s biggest sponsorship in Irish racing.”

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