Mullins Won’t Have It All His Own Way At Fairyhouse
After Irish success in the big race at Newbury yesterday the attention now turns to this side of the water with Fairyhouse staging their mammoth day with four graded races including three at the top level. Willie Mullins may not have it all his own way today but the Hatton’s Grace could be returning to Closutton.
Mullins to Nic the Apple
The Hatton’s Grace looks a really top class renewal this year with probably the best mare in training at the moment, Apple’s Jade, taking on the Stayers Hurdle winner Nichols Canyon with Grade 1 winning novices Cilaos Emery and Augusta Kate also representing the champion trainer and Supasundae trying to continue his progression for Jessica Harrington.
With the ground being a concern for Supasundae and the two novices having their first step up to this sort of company,
it does look to come down to the top two in the betting with Nichols Canyon getting the nod over Apple’s Jade.
Last years winner of this race, Apple’s Jade, does get a valuable 7lbs from Nichols Canyon but for a horse so effective over two miles and three miles this race at the intermediate distance should be ideal for the two-time Morgiana Hurdle winner. The fact that the seven-year-old was able to win the Morgiana on his seasonal debut twice and over two-miles, once beating Faugheen, just tells you how much class this horse has and despite the lack of a run, he can win a ninth Grade 1.
Barry’s choice to be justified
Red Jack may have looked the obvious JP McManus runner for Barry Geraghty to ride but his decision to opt for Le Richebourg in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle. The son of Network failed to win a bumper and was eight and a quarter lengths behind Red Jack on debut at Naas.
But his three runs over hurdles have been pretty flawless for Joseph O’Brien
and he can make it count at the highest level here today. Mengli Khan is a second season novice that looked good on his two starts this season and Willie Mullins warrants respect with Makitorix but Le Richebourg really got it together during the summer over hurdles and while this is a major step up in grade, he has had a break and represents strong connections and looks a decent bet at 6/1.
Duty Calls for Elliott
A very shrewd judge suggested to me at the beginning of this week that Gordon Elliott could get the better of Willie Mullins this season and that would make for another fascinating climax to the season again but if that is to be the case Sunday will be a significant day as there’s a lot of prize money on offer and Elliott has strong claims in each of the seven races.
His best chance on the day looks to be Death Duty in the Drinmore
and he’s hard to oppose. The Drinmore provided Elliott with a first Grade 1 seven years ago and Death Duty has always been the apple of his eye and he can maintain his unbeaten record over fences here.
Le Richebourg (4/1) – 1.00 Fairyhouse
Nichols Canyon (6/4) – 1.30 Fairyhouse
Death Duty (8/11) – 2.35 Fairyhouse
*Prices correct at time of publication.