12.00 - Bar One Racing Best Odds Guaranteed Irish EBF Mares Handicap Chase (2m4f)
A competitive mares' handicap over fences to kick-start what promises to be a fine afternoon's racing at Fairyhouse. Emily Moon was fifth in the Craddockstown Novices' Chase at Punchestown recently and, with Robbie Power back on board, may have the ability to get involved off a mark of 126 here.
Ellie Mac has been rather in-and-out over hurdles in recent times but, again, has what it takes to go well under Rachel Blackmore if this is a going day back chasing. Cushinstown Finest arrives on the back of a career-best and isn't counted out despite going up in the ratings but maybe LUNCH IN ADARE can prevail.
She was lightly-raced and essentially disappointing over hurdles, but last month's narrow Ballinrobe runner-up finish (2m7f, soft) was her second good effort from three starts over fences. She's effective at this shorter trip (hurdles winner) and an opening handicap mark of 114 doesn't look prohibitive.
12.30 - Bar One Racing Price Boost Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 3, 2m)
Joseph O'Brien and Willie Mullins can lay claims to four of the last seven winners between them and they've got leading chances again here. Druid's All Star was beaten by Gordon Elliott's Zanahiyr on the Flat at this venue in July and, having improved since in that code, both arrive here on the back of opening hurdles successes at Punchestown and Ballinrobe respectively.
The manner in which Druid's All Star dispatched Dark Voyager (second to Zanahiyr previously) suggests he's progressing past his old foe now.
That said, they face a stern challenge in the form of French import SAINT SAM as he debut for the Mullins yard today. Getting a firm handle on his two French wins isn't the simplest of tasks but he has joined the best in the business and, with champion jockey Paul Townend up, may give his trainer a third success in this contest.
1.05 - Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle (Grade 1, 2m)
BALLYADAM cost the princely sum of £330,000 as a four-year-old after the son of Fame And Glory had taken a point-to-point some 13 months ago. He was turned over on his bumper bow at Navan in February but atoned for that in good style at Downpatrick a month later.
Last month's hurdles introductions at Down Royal (2m½f, yielding) was of the 'seamless' variety and, despite the rise in class today, he's very much the one to beat. He has already established a prominent position in the ante-post betting for the Supreme at Cheltenham and success here can copper-fasten that slot.
His stablemate The Very Man and N'Golo representing the Mullins yard aren't crossed off in haste but the main danger could come from Cask Mate. Noel Meade's charge has shed the nearly-horse tag with wins at Limerick and Punchestown (latest over further) on soft ground this autumn and, with his stamina proven, could turn this into a proper test.
1.35 - Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase (Grade 1, 2m4f)
Fakir D'Oudairies and Samcro were set to treat viewers to a real duel in this contest 12 months ago only for the latter to fall just as the battle lines were being drawn. Gordon Elliott's charge would have the last laugh when he won the Marsh at Cheltenham, while Joseph O'Brien's charge has rather lost his way since. Taking the time to remember their clash a year ago is a preamble for the news that this is a one-horse-race!
The mighty ENVOI ALLEN is long odds-on to maintain his perfect record and make it 2-2 as a chaser. His jumping of fences at Down Royal 30 days ago was as perfect as all that had gone before and he's yet to have a single chink exposed in his armoury.
He remains the most exciting jumps horse in training and the hype-machine isn't likely to be slowing down today. If he jumps around the course, these three rivals won't see him for dust.
Stablemate Coko Beach could be up to the challenge of pipping Joseph O'Brien's heavy-ground course winner (2m5f) for the second prize with his Galway second behind Pencilfulloflead well and truly boosted by that fellow Coolcullen inmate since in the Florida Pearl Novice Chase at Punchestown.
PRICE BOOSTS MAX BET £10
2.05 - Bar One Racing Porterstown Handicap Chase (Grade B, 3m5f)
If the previous race looks a foregone conclusion, try this 20-runner puzzle out for size in attempting to find the most likely winner of the ?75,000 prize. The Gigginstown silks are well represented and the likes of Roaring Bull can never be ruled out but perhaps MILAN NATIVE will have the class to defy top-weight.
He had some fine form in his first season over fences, culminating in a Cheltenham Festival score in the Kim Muir. He won at Galway on his comeback and last month's distant second behind Minella Indo is easily forgiven. He paid a price for tackling that high-class rival (now generally a single-figure price for the Cheltenham Gold Cup) and may excel himself back in a handicap with a big tax on stamina.
Dromore Lad made a mockery of his starting price when winning the Cork National at the start of the month and further progress is very likely from this increased rating (up 10lb for nine-length win).
He's shortlisted in spite of his relative inexperience over fences. Punchestown winner Chavi Artist and handicap debutante Court Maid give trainer Tom Mullins a strong hand to play and it's noted that David Mullins is on board the mare.
2.35 - Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle (Grade 1, 2m4f)
It's something of a disappointment but, as with the other Grade 1s on the card, HONEYSUCKLE will start odds-on favourite in the Hatton's Grace. Last year's winner is now a perfect 8-8 over hurdles (also won a 3m point-to-point) having added to her success here with an Irish Champion Hurdle win at Leopardstown in February and Mares' Hurdle glory at Cheltenham in March when fending off Benie Des Dieux.
There isn't really anything to scare here her, rather she has scared off others. The long-term hopes must be that we might see her lock horns with Epatante in a battle for 'Girl Power' supremacy in the Champion Hurdle itself come March. What a prospect that would be. For now, it's probable she defends this crown in good style.
Punchestown Grade 2 scorer Fury Road remains on an upward curve and taking second-best here ahead of the likes of Ronald Pump (second in the Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, fell on return) would see him remain in a positive light.
Bacardy's was second in this last year and took third in the Stayers' at Cheltenham. He is probably at his less than predictable best over three-miles now while the sands of time are now surely running faster than ever against the likeable and durable Supasundae.
3.05 - Bar One Racing Extra Places Handicap Hurdle (Grade A, 2m)
Plenty of these have met in the recent past. DROP THE ANCHOR just got the better of Getaway Gorgeous at Listowel in September and the former was in the process of running another huge race at Down Royal (2m½f, yielding) last month when he was impeded and brought down after being impeded at the second last jump.
The re-opposing Cayd Boy won that contest, with Getaway Gorgeous back in fifth spot. The winner has gone up 9lb for his trouble, Drop The Anchor remains on his mark of 129 following that misfortunate departure. He looked set for a major role in the finish and there could be compensation awaiting today.
Gold De Bois made a winning start for Gordon Elliott at Clonmel in early October after switching from Jessica Harrington's team.
He was disappointing in the aforementioned Down Royal race won by Cayd Boy afterwards (started favourite) but has since shaped better in a first-time hood at Punchestown on heavy ground. There may yet be plenty more to come from him and at the foot of the weights he's not one to dismiss readily.
3.40 - Bar One Racing Giving Cash Back Daily (Pro/Am) Flat Race (2m)
Those that have run don't set an exacting standard and so this is probably going to revolve around the newcomers, of which plenty make appeal on paper. Strong consultation with the betting market therefore should be advisable.
Gordon Elliott's newcomer GRAND PARADIS has plenty to like about him, including Jamie Codd's presence and they get a tentative vote. Good Land and Sage Boat are notables on debut while it's possible San Salvador builds significantly on his Naas sixth at February on his only start thus far.
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