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Friday 24 January 2020

Jelona looks best of bumper crop

Jessica Harrington
Jessica Harrington

Fairyhouse were forced to abandon their two chases scheduled for today and the Happy Christmas From Fairyhouse Handicap Hurdle over 2m7f has been divided to form a six race card.

Punters are afforded a slightly later start to the card but they might have to wait all the way until the concluding Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Bumper for the star of the day.

Whichever four-year-old can come out on top in the finale looks set to have a bright future as it looks a tasty bumper, but Jessica Harrington's JELONA (3.25, Fairyhouse) appears to be the standard setter.

Of those with form, Jelona's run at Gowran Park when beaten less than 10 lengths by subsequent Grade Two winner Bigbadandbeautiful looks the pick although there are a few newcomers who warrant respect.

Bigbadandbeautiful's trainer Gordon Elliott introduces Glan in the colours of JP McManus's daughter-in-law, Anne Marie, and while Joseph O'Brien's newcomer Castra Vetera cost €110,000 last year meaning the market will need to be observed here, this fascinating race should go to the experience of Jelona.

Elsewhere on the card, MONKFISH (1.40, Fairyhouse) is given the nod over Osmotic in the Irish Racing Yearbook Maiden Hurdle.

Champion trainer Willie Mullins only has seven runners this weekend and Monkfish would look the pick of them. While Osmotic was an impressive bumper winner back in May, the step up in trip can prove the key to Monkfish.

EMPIRE BURLEQUE (1.05, Fairyhouse) wouldn't make the Gigginstown 'A' team, but he should be up to winning off a rating of 104.

LEE VALLEY LEGACY (2.15, Fairyhouse) and HOWAYA AOIFE (2.50, Fairyhouse) are the two choices in the divided handicap hurdle.

Fairyhouse

12.30 Wolf Prince

1.05 Empire Burleque

1.40 Monkfish

2.15 Lee Valley Legacy

2.50 Howaya Aoife

3.25 Jelona

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