Big Names on Course for Fairyhouse Winter Festival
Monday, 20 November 2023
Last year’s Hatton’s Grace hero Teahupoo with winning owner Brian Acheson
The Bar One Hatton’s Grace meeting is firmly established as the top jumps fixture in the first half of the season
Cheltenham Festival winners Impaire Et Passe and Sire Du Berlais, State Man and last year’s winner Teahupoo head the 15 entries for the Grade 1 Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle on the second day of the Fairyhouse Winter Festival on Sunday, December 3.
Impaire Et Passe, which included the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham among his four wins last season, is one of six Willie Mullins-trained entries in the race. The champion trainer has also entered his Champion Hurdle runner-up State Man, Ashroe Diamond, winner of the Grade 1 Irish EBF Honeysuckle Mares Novice Hurdle at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival and the exciting Mister Policeman which made a winning start for the yard at Cork in April.
Gordon Elliott tops the Mullins entry by one with Cheltenham Festival Stayers’ Hurdle winner Sire Du Berlais, last year’s Hatton’s Grace hero Teahupoo, Irish Point and Zanahiyr among the Cullentra septet. Anna Bunina and Buddy One might yet represent trainers John McConnell and Paul Gilligan.
The first of three Grade 1 races on the day is the Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle and Gordon Elliott has made 13 entries headed by Brighterdaysahead which was a Fairyhouse Easter Festival winner this year when taking the valuable Tattersalls Ireland Sales Bumper. Also among the Elliott contingent is Down Memory Lane which was a bumper scorer on his only racecourse start to date at Fairyhouse in February.
A more recent winner at the course, just two days ago, is An Tobar, one of three entries from the Henry de Bromhead stable. Gavin Cromwell is another with three horses in the race with Encanto Bruno, a winner at Cheltenham last month, included while exciting recruit Jit Langy is one of six entries for Willie Mullins. A total of 18 entries have been made for the Grade 1 Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase and Gordon Elliott dominates with a team of nine including course winner Imagine and Favori De Champdou. However, Elliott is certainly up against it as he bids for an eighth Drinmore success. Irish Grand National winner I Am Maximus, on his last day as a novice, and multiple Grade 1-winning hurdler Sharjah are two in the race for Willie Mullins while Noel Meade has his recent Galway scorer Affordable Fury and Flanking Maneuver, another to have won at Fairyhouse on Tuesday of this week.
Adding to the ultra-strong entry are the Emmet Mullins-trained Corbetts Cross, Gavin Cromwell’s recent Cork winner Letsbeclearaboutit and Henry de Bromhead’s Quilixios and Heart Wood.
Peter Roe, General Manager of Fairyhouse Racecourse, said: “I am delighted with the strength and depth of entries for our three Grade 1 races on Bar One Hatton’s Grace Day. last year, the Bar One Racing Royal Bond was the top-rated novice hurdle in Ireland and the day produced 13 subsequent Grade 1 winners. It is great to see such a wide spectrum of jumping stars entered and it certainly is a day not to be missed.”
Barney O’Hare of Bar One Racing, said: “The Bar One Hatton’s Grace meeting is firmly established as the top jumps fixture in the first half of the season. We are delighted to see the support trainers have given our three Grade 1 races and it certainly whets the appetite for the months ahead. With the Bar One Racing-sponsored Navan Racing Festival coming two weeks before Fairyhouse, these weekends certainly confirm our support of Irish racing.”
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