Winter Festival, Fairyhouse, Overview

Trainer Gordon Elliott, Apple's Jade, and Bar One Racing's Managing Director, Barney O'Hare

Will Reilly looks forward to the Winter Festival at Fairyhouse

We are now in full countdown mode for Irish jump racing’s biggest meeting this side of Christmas, the Winter Festival at Fairyhouse, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday, December 1st and 2nd.

With three Grade One races on Sunday’s card plus a €100,000 two-mile handicap hurdle and nearly €500,000 in prize-money on offer – a record amount – it is a meeting to savour and Bar One Racing are delighted to once again be the fixture’s sponsor.

In total, over €600,000 in prize-money will be on offer over the two days of racing. The featured race on Saturday is the €50,000 EasyFix Handicap ‘Chase.

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Our involvement with the Grade One Royal Bond Novice Hurdle began in 2006. Two years later, we took over sponsorship of the other Grade Ones, the Drinmore Novice Chase and the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle.

It has been a happy union as winners of these races reads like a Who’s Who of jump racing.

The Drinmore Novice Chase has been won in recent years by Coney Island and subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Don Cossack.

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The Royal Bond has been won by such horses as Istabraq, Moscow Flyer, Hardy Eustace, Hurricane Fly, Jezki and Nichols Canyon, each of them a champion in their own right, some of them all-time greats.

That last description can be applied to Hatton’s Grace heroes like Danoli, Dorans Pride, Large Action, Istabraq, Limestone Lad, Solerina, Brave Inca, Hurricane Fly, Jezki and Apple’s Jade.

Apple’s Jade has won the famous race in each of the last two years and will bid to outdo the great dual winner Isatabraq and join Limestone Lad and Solerina as three-time winners of a race named after legendary trainer Vincent O’Brien’s three-time Cheltenham Champion Hurdle winner (1949-51).

Mark the dates in your diary, December 1st and 2nd, for the Winter Festival at Fairyhouse. See you there and watch out for plenty of offers and concessions along the way!

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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article