Stellar line-up to visit 'house
Entries for Sunday's three Grade One races at Fairyhouse were narrowed down yesterday at the latest forfeit stage and the seasonal debut of Annie Power remains on schedule in the Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle.
Willie Mullins sent Champion Hurdle favourite Faugheen to Ascot on Saturday to keep his two classy hurdlers who are both owned by Rich Ricci apart, and Annie Power could meet Punchestown Ladbrokes World Hurdle winner Jetson in the 2m4f event which Jessica Harrington won last season with Jezki.
With only seven horses remaining in contention for the feature contest, Wexford trainer Colin Bowe has left in his classy mare Little King Robin who made the running and finished third in the Morgiana Hurdle behind Hurricane Fly earlier in the month, while Triumph Hurdle winner Tiger Roll is also among those still in contention for the €80,000 Grade One.
At the moment it would appear that the Drinmore Novice Chase is set to be the most competitive of the three Grade Ones on the card with 17 still left in that race including The Tullow Tank who proved to be a last winner for trainer Dessie Hughes with his daughter Sandra now holding the licence.
Willie Mullins clearly holds a strong hand in that particular race as well with very impressive Punchestown winner Valseur Lido one of seven Gigginstown owned entries.
Indeed, two of those remaining amongst the 17 for the Drinmore have yet to even make their chasing debut with Le Vent D'Antan entered in a couple of beginners chases this week for Liz Doyle and Un Atout, who hasn't run since winning a Grade One novice hurdle at the 2013 Punchestown Festival, also a possible for the beginners chase at Fairyhouse on Saturday.
Also in the Drinmore is last week's Thurles winner Aerlite Supreme and Noel Meade has declared his happiness with Apache Stronghold going into the race.
The other Grade One on the card is also sponsored by Bar One Racing and that is the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle in which two of Willie Mullins' three entries for the race have yet to run in Ireland.
Both Allez Colombieres and Max Dynamite are French recruits and despite neither running over hurdles, Allez Colombieres is already favourite for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Mullins also has Cork maiden hurdle winner Nichols Canyon included and they'd all have to be at their very best if Gordon Elliott decides to run No More Heroes who franked some good bumper form to make a winning start over hurdles at Punchestown just under a fortnight ago.
Proceedings at Fairyhouse get underway with the Grade Three Bar One Racing Juvenile Hurdle with eight previous hurdling winners among the 18 that appeared among the entries yesterday.