Fairyhouse Tips: Honeysuckle can prove too strong

Honeysuckle is due to take her chance in a red hot-looking renewal of the Hatton's Grace Hurdle.
Honeysuckle is due to take her chance in a red hot-looking renewal of the Hatton's Grace Hurdle.

Having picked out two winners in his last article on the site, Karl Hedley returns to run the rule on Sunday's three Grade 1 contests at Fairyhouse, including the Hatton's Grace Hurdle...

13:00 - Royal Bond Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

Envoi Allen comes here in search of a six-timer following a more than pleasing return to action on hurdling debut at Down Royal last month. Prominent from the get go, this five-year-old put in some exhilarating jumps and recorded a six and a half length win over Front View and Entoucas. With previous wins coming in excellent bumper races at Navan and Cheltenham, he has made an effortless transition to hurdles. He has won on a variety of ground and will be fully at home under today’s conditions. Davy Russell bids to maintain his 100 percent strike-rate on the Gordon Elliott runner, and they can go onto better things after this.

Stablemate Abacadabras has two wins to his name already this season at Gowran Park and more recently at Navan. He does have almost six lengths to make up on his stablemate Envoi Allen based on their most recent clash in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival, however.

Joseph O’Brien’s pair of Embittered and Midnight Run are improving, but would need career best efforts to trouble the main protagonists on what they have shown so far. A likelier threat comes from Turnpike Trip, who won a Grade 3 hurdle at Tipperary last month. The yard certainly know the time of day with their runners, and it would be of no surprise to see him in the shake up.

Selection: Envoi Allen

Fairyhouse 13:00
Envoi Allen silk

Envoi Allen


13:30 - Drinmore Novice Chase (Grade 1)

Burrows Saint may seem an unlikely choice by many, but he is a fast-improving six-year-old who is trained by one of the best in the business. He enjoyed a fantastic season last year, accumulating with a runaway win in the Irish Grand National at this track. He put daylight between himself and some useful sorts including Snugsborough Benny, Acapella Bourgeois and Isleofhopeandreams, and at current odds he looks too big a price to be overlooked given that most of his rivals are still learning this game and he is a seasoned chaser.

Samcro is likely to be all the rage in the betting. He barely touched a twig when making his chasing debut at Down Royal last month, pulling right away from Trappist Monk to win by at least 17 lengths. That form in itself does not look great, however, and he may prove vulnerable here.

Ronald Pump comes here looking for a third win on the bounce. He loves this track, but like Samrco, this will be his sternest test to date. He knows every blade of grass around here, though, and if the main players fail to fire, he will be waiting in the wings.

Fakir D’Oudairies defeated Melon in a beginners’ chase at Navan last month, and due to him only being a four-year-old he receives a handy weight for age allowance here. That will aid his cause, and he will prove stubborn opposition in the closing stages. Willie Mullins ought to know (on a formline through Melon) how good that recent run was, and it is of note that he sends the Rich Ricci-owend Burrows Saint into the mix here.

Selection: Burrows Saint

Fairyhouse 13:30
Burrows Saint silk

Burrows Saint


14:40 - Hatton's Grace Hurdle (Grade 1)

Honeysuckle brings the best course and distance form into the race, and arrives here four from four at this track, with three of those wins coming at this trip. Despite the bottomless ground last time out, she handed out a fair drubbing to the up and coming Easy Game as well as the progressive Mister Blue Sky on what was her first outing of the season - and she is fully expected to come on for it. Rachel Blackmore has partnered the five-year-old to each of her five career wins so far, and they look fully capable of extending that winning sequence here today. 

Apple’s Jade was a shade disappointing behind the re-opposing Bacardys at Navan a few weeks ago. She just has not looked the same mare of old recently, so cannot be fully trusted to put together a winning effort here. Unbelievably, she remains without a win since February of this year.

Bacardys has a tendency to find himself in a whole world of trouble, finding himself on the floor more times than an average boxer in a fight. He also has to give weight away to some very capable mares, and whilst he's been looking rejuvenated of late, he is still one to have reservations about. Penhill also represents Willie Mullins here, but has to defy an almost 18-month layoff. This multiple festival winner may find this trip a bit on the sharp side for him these days, especially on what will be his seasonal return.

Selection: Honeysuckle

Fairyhouse 14:40
Honeysuckle silk


2020 Gold Cup Odds
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