The day has arrived – It’s our big day at Fairyhouse (Sunday Nov 28) as part of the Winter Festival.
The first race on Sunday is due off at 12pm.
SCROLL DOWN this page to see a profile on every declared runner for the three Grade 1 races on Sunday’s card.
Sponsored by BarOneRacing.com, the Winter Festival at Fairyhouse is now established as the most-important jumps meeting in Ireland this side of Christmas.
With three Grade One races on Sunday’s card plus an €80,000 two-mile handicap hurdle, the Porterstown Handicap Chase, a Grade 3 juvenile hurdle, a mares’ handicap chase, €426,000 in total prize-money and a list of big-race winners that would grace any roll of honour, it is easy to understand why.
Bar One Racing’s involvement began in 2006 through sponsorship of the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle. Two years later, the meeting’s other Grade 1 races, the Drinmore Novice Chase and the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle, began carrying our name. It has been a happy and successful partnership with Fairyhouse ever since.
The list of big-race winners at the meeting really does read like a ‘Who’s Who’ of jump racing.
The Royal Bond, which this year is worth €70,000, 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.
The Drinmore Novice Chase (also worth €70,000) has been won in recent years by Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Don Cossack and subsequent Cheltenham Festival-winner, and potential superstar, Envoi Allen, who also won the 2019 Royal Bond.
Scroll down the page to find PROFILES on the entries for Sunday’s 3 Grade 1 races at Fairyhouse
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A flying leap at Fairyhouse by Envoi Allen
The Hatton’s Grace Hurdle – carrying €100,000 in prize-money and named after the legendary Vincent O’Brien’s three-time Champion Hurdle-winner – has been won by such champions as Danoli, Dorans Pride, Large Action, Istabraq, Limestone Lad, Solerina, Brave Inca, Hurricane Fly, Jezki, Apple’s Jade and, for the last two years, Honeysuckle.
We will be BOOSTING THE PRICE of the FAVOURITE on the LIVE SHOWS in EVERY RACE at FAIRYHOUSE on SATURDAY & SUNDAY!!
Apple’s Jade won three Hatton’s Grace Hurdles in a row (2016-18) and this year Honeysuckle will bid to emulate that feat. Her partnership with the hugely-popular Rachael Blackmore has lit up many a day at the races and could well do so again at Fairyhouse at the end of the month.
With such horses as the Galway Hurdle-winner, Saldier, Cheltenham Festival scorer, Jeff Kidder, 2019 Royal Bond and 2020 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle runner-up and 2021 Puunchestown Grade 1 winner, Abacadabras, all among her potential opponents, we have the makings of a race to savour.
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Honeysuckle on the way to victory at Fairyhouse in 2020Honeysuckle and Rachael will head the Winter Festival cast for what promises to be another star-studded line-up at this year’s meeting.
Mark the dates in your diary: Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th November for the Winter Festival at Fairyhouse, sponsored by BarOneRacing.com.
We look forward to seeing you there.
‘Profiles’ on the final declarations for the €100,000 Grade 1 BarOneRacing.com Hatton’s Grace Hurdle
Honeysuckle will be bidding to win the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle for the third-successive year.
Race time on Sunday is 2:40pm
Abacadabras (Gordon Elliott) – Rated 158 – Very talented, he finished second to Envoi Allen in the Royal Bond here in 2019, won the Grade 1 Morgiana Hurdle in 2020 and also won the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle in April; however, he finished a 10-length second to Honeysuckle in the Irish Champion Hurdle in February so needs to find some improvement based on that run.
Darasso (Joseph O’Brien) – Rated 148 See Saldier and Sire Du Berlais.
Honeysuckle (Henry de Bromhead) – Rated 165 – The darling of jump racing and she has won this race for the last couple of years. She also won the Champion Hurdle in March at the Cheltenham Festival, one of eight Grade 1 victories for a mare that is unbeaten in 12 career starts under Rules. Her partnership with Rachael Blackmore has seriously captured the public’s imagination and affection.
Latest Exhibition (Paul Nolan) – Rated 151 – Finished second to Monkfish in the 2020 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and has had just five runs since then, all over fences, most recently when a very good fourth when rated 153 in the Irish Grand National in April.
Ronald Pump (Matthew Smith) – Rated 156 – He finished second in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival and, in November of the same year, ran Honeysuckle to half-a-length in last year’s Hatton’s Grace Hurdle. He then finished 12 lengths behind Klassical Dream when third in the Champion Stayers Hurdle at Punchestown (in May). He likes it at Fairyhouse, where his record is 911122 and he will race in blinkers for the first time on Sunday.
Saldier (Willie Mullins) – Rated 162 – This year’s Galway Hurdle winner who looks set to be a major player in Grade 1 hurdles this season. He beat Darasso by three lengths at level weights on his seasonal return on October 3rd in the Grade 3 Horse & Jockey Hotel Hurdle at Tipperary.
Sams Profile – THIS HORSE IS NOW A NON-RUNNER – Won the Grade 2 John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park in January and, on his latest start, finished 10th of 11 at Galway in a chase. Likely to be among the outsiders on Sunday.
Sire du Berlais (Gordon Elliott) – THIS HORSE IS NOW A NON-RUNNER – Rated 160 – He won the Grade 2 Lismullen Hurdle at Navan in 2020 and finished second in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March. Also, he won the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019 and 2020 and returned this season with a 6-length second in the Lismullen Hurdle to Darasso on November 7th, but will be 5lbs better off in the Hatton’s Grace.
Skyace (Shark Hanlon) – Rated 139 – She was bought for just £600 but she has now won over £100,000 in prize-money, her five victories including the Grade 1 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mare’ Novice Hurdle Championship Funal at Fairyhouse over the Hatton’s Grace trip of 2m4f in April. Winning a Hatton’s Grace of such quality, though, would be a huge step up.
Stormy Ireland (Willie Mullins) – Rated 150 – She looks progressive based on the fact that she has won her last three races – the Grade 2 Underwriting Exchange Hurdle over course and distance in April, the Grade 1 Coolmore Kew Gardens Irish EBF Mares Champion Hurdle at Punchestown in May and a maiden on the flat at Down Royal in June. She’ll need to improve by a good bit more, though, to get past Honeysuckle if she is anywhere near her best on November 28th. The Queen maybe isn’t ready just yet to relinquish her crown.
SELECTION – It has to be HONEYSUCKLE, the reigning Queen of Fairyhouse who is looking to equal the feats of Solerina and Apple’s Jade in winning this prestigious race for a third-successive year – SALDIER can get in amongst the money
The magnificent Don Cossack after his 2013 ‘Drinmore’ win
‘Profiles’ on the final declarations for the Drinmore Novice Chase
Race time on Sunday is 1:35pm
Trainer Gordon Elliott has won this race 5 times in the last 8 years, including with Don Cossack in 2013 (see pic above), and 6 times in the last 11.
Beacon Edge – See Lifetime Ambition
Bleu Berry – THIS HORSE IS NOW A NON-RUNNER – Trained by Willie Mullin, he won over fences at Listowel in Sept before finishing 14.5 leangths behind Cape Gentleman in a Grade 3 Novice Chase at Cork – See Cape Gentleman.
Cape Gentleman – Trained by Emmet Mullins, he won a Grade 3 novice chase at Cork last time and had Bleu Berry 14.5 lengths behind him (on heavy ground). Splitting them that day was subsequent Troytown Handicap Chase winner Run Wild Fred. Cape Gentleman then finished second to the Gordon Elliot-trained Riviere d’Etel in a Grade 2 chase at Punchestown, but time may reveal that it was a mammoth task trying to give that talented filly 18lbs. He’s a very promising novice chaser.
Fire Attack – THIS HORSE IS NOW A NON-RUNNER – Trained by Joseph O’Brien, he was a pretty decent hurdler and won on his chasing debut at Wexford on Oct 24. He did it well that day but the Drinmore will be a big step up from that.
Fury Road (Gordon Elliott) – See Gabynako – Like Grand Paradis, Gordon Elliott feels that he may well have just needed the run last time so should come on a good deal in Sunday’s race.
Gabynako – Trained by Gavin Cromwell, he was narrowly beaten on his chasing debut at Galway before beating Fury Road by 2.75 lengths last time (Nov 9) over the Drinmore course and distance. Midnight Run was a further short head and head behind Fury Road in fourth place (was challenging the leaders at the last when made a blunder). Gabynako created a very favourable impression at Fairyhouse in a race that looked a very good beginners’ chase.
Grand Paradis – Trained by Gordon Elliott, he created a very favourable view in winning his bumper and the Grade 3 Michael Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle at Thurles in Feb. Given that chasing always looked likely to be his game, it was disappointing to see him fall on his chasing debut at Down Royal in the race that was won by Lifetime Ambition (see above). He has something to prove based on that run but, overall, it would probably be folly to write him off after just one setback. (Gordon Elliott recently took him for a schooling session at Punchestown and was very pleased with how he jumped.)
Lifetime Ambition – Trained by Jessica Harrington, he has won his last three races, including on his chasing debut at Down Royal on Oct 29 over 2m3.5f. In that race he beat Beacon Edge by 2.75 lengths and they could reoppose on Sunday. He jumped well at Downpatrick. He’s closely related to Willie Mullins’ Grade 1 winning chaser J’Y Vole and chasing does seem to be his game.
Midnight Run (Joseph O’Brien) – See Gabynako
Global Equity -Trained by Joseph O’Brien, she won over fences at Galway on Oct 23 (2m2f). Described by her jockey after that win as “a lovely mare…a hardy mare” that would “probably get further”, the Drinmore trip may well suit her better. That said, Fairyhouse will present her with a much-bigger challenge than Galway.
SELECTION – I gave GRAND PARADIS as a horse to follow this season so I am going to stay loyal to him
‘Profiles’ on the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle entries at the meeting’s five-day stage,
Race time on Sunday is 1:05pm
Willie Mullins has won this race 7 times in the last 13 years while Gordon Elliott has won it in 3 of the last 4 years.
Arctic Warrior – Trained by Willie Mullins, he fell on his hurdling debut when looking set to score, then won at Sligo before being pulled up last time at Tipperary in a Grade 3 hurdle, where he raced keenly. He has something to prove now based on that run. He will race in a first-time tongue-tie on Sunday.
Farout – Trained by Willie Mullins, he finished second to the Gordon Elliott-trained Off Your Rocco last time, having won over hurdles at Cork and Galway before that defeat. He needs to find some improvement from somewhere in order to win on Sunday. He will race in a first-time tongue-tie on Sunday.
Mighty Potter – Trained by Gordon Elliott, he has won both his races so far – a bumper at Pucnchestown and a maiden hurdle at Down Royal by no less than 25 lengths. Just a four year-old, he can be safely described as promising and progressive.
My Mate Mozzie – Trained by Gavin Cromwell, he is unbeaten in four starts, which includes landing the Grade 3 For Auction Novice Hurdle at Navan on Nov 7 by 10 lengths. He has a nice pedigree with, for example, his great grand-dam being Flame Of Tara. She produced 12 winners, most notably Salsabil, who won the English 1,000 Guineas and the English and Irish Oaks. He’s an exciting young hurdler.
Three Stripe Life – THIS HORSE WAS A LATE WITHDRAWAL FROM THE ROYAL BOND – Trained by Gordon Elliott, he finished fourth in last season’s Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival and made a smooth start to his hurdling career by winning over the Royal Bond course and distance on Nov 2nd. He’s a very promising young hurdler.
Uhtred – Trained by Joseph O’Brien, he won a Listed bumper at Navan in Dec 2019, after which he was off the track for 427 days. Following his return run, he finished fourth of five in the Grade 1 Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown in April before winning smoothly at Naas in a maiden hurdle. He’s clearly talented but this will be his toughest test to date.
Impervious – Trained by Colm Murphy, she has won all three of her races over hurdles, including the Grade 3 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares’ Novice Hurdle at Down Royal on Oct 29. You can pick holes in that Down Royal form but, in general, she jumped well and showed that she has gear changes. And, of course, she will get the 7lb mares’ allowance on Sunday. Plenty of reasons, then, for connections to – as Colm Murphy said after her Grade 3 success – “keep dreaming away”. Colm Murphy won the 2006 Hatton’s Grace Hurdle with Brave Inca and the 2011 Hatton’s Grace with Voler la Vedette. Brave Inca also won the 2006 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Statuaire – Trained by Willie Mullins, she won by 23 lengths at Downpatrick in May but by just half-a-length at Wexford in June, although she travelled well in the race and always looked likely to win. She is promising but hasn’t been seen since that June win. The market suggests that Willie has stronger options in the race. Check jockey bookings at the 24-hour stage if she remains in the race.
SELECTION – MY MATE MOZZIE can continue to build on the very good impression he has so far created
Willie Mullins overseeing his team at the launch of the Winter Festival