Some stunning action at Fairyhouse in store on Sunday
We have four pointers for you today, from a fantastic card from Fairyhouse...
1. Allen odds on to continue his development with a win.
A trio of Grade 1 races marks out today's Fairyhouse card as one well out of the ordinary. Those top level teasers kick off at 13.00 with the Meath venue hosting the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle over two miles. The standard could barely be higher as seven of the nine declared runners struck on their most recent start, including Gordon Elliott's unbeaten bumper sensation Envoi Allen. Successful at this fixture 12 months ago, he went on to win all four outings in National Hunt Flat races, culminating in victory at the Cheltenham Festival. Prior to that sequence a Point to Point winner, he picked up where he left off this season, striding to an easy win by more than six lengths in a Down Royal maiden hurdle last month. Davy Russell rides.
2. Samcro versus Fakir D'Oudairies.
Also holding Grade 1 status is the 13.30 Fairyhouse, with the two and a half mile Drinmore Novice Chase next up. Seemingly nothing went right for a horse with a massive reputation in the shape of Samcro in season 2018/19, not seen after December following three appearances in which he was a beaten favourite on each occasion. However, refreshed by a break and running over fences for the first time he looked much more like his old self at Down Royal last month, dismissing inferior opposition by a yawning 17 lengths. Today is a big step up though and he'll have to be on his A-game, taking on exciting four year old Fakir D'oudairies, progressive Ronald Pump, plus Irish Grand National hero Burrows Saint. A race not to be missed.
Won in 2017 by the mighty Presenting Percy, the 14.05 Fairyhouse is the marathon three miles and five furlongs Porterstown Handicap Chase. This year's running looks wide open, but perhaps the local yard of Noel Meade could supply the solution in Killer Miller, a horse soon to be 11 year of age who has only run five times in the last three years. Talented but fragile, he has dropped to a rating of 127 and under a feather weight could relish the Soft ground on this first try beyond three miles. Buoyant Meade has already had 33 jumps winners this season.
4. The Honeysuckle Apple's Jade match is made to make the mouth water.
Race of the day! The fourth of those tasty Grade 1's at Fairyhouse is the two and a half mile Hatton's Grace Hurdle. Due off at 14.40 this looks set to be a fascinating clash between two superb mares, one the up and coming five year old star Honeysuckle, the other the two years older and firmly established prize accumulator Apple's Jade. The winner of this race in 2016. '17 and '18, Apple's Jade is a 10-time Grade 1 winner who won't release her grip lightly, but Honeysuckle is an unbeaten five from five under rules and has barely come off the bridle in achieving those successes. Something has to give, don't take your eyes off this one!