Horse Racing tips: Frank Hickey’s four to follow at Fairyhouse Easter Festival

Frank has picked out his early tips for Fairyhouse

Frank Hickey


*Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing/Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason, you will lose your stake under traditional antepost rules

Frank Hickey has taken a close look at the main feature races ahead of the Fairyhouse Easter Festival, as well as some of the less high-profile contests at the County Meath racecourse.

Our expert trader had named Longhouse Poet as his antepost selection for the Irish Grand National on Monday, but trainer Martin Brassil has decided against running his charger in the 3m5f steeplechase due to the drying ground.

Have no fear though, as Frank also picked out some tasty tips for Sunday’s two Grade 1 events – an ultra-competitive Mares’ Novice Hurdle and a high-quality Novice Chase which could see the return of Energumene.

Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, Frank then cast his eye over a couple of intriguing hurdle renewals as he searched for value prior to the meeting.

16.05 (Sat) – Ruaille Buaille

RUAILLE BUAILLE is one I like in the 2m Grade A Handicap Hurdle on Saturday – if she takes her chance! Drying ground would be a big positive for her as her bumper and maiden hurdle wins were on decent ground. I thought she shaped better than the finishing position of eighth suggested in the mares’ handicap hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival off a mark of 130 because she got herself into contention jumping two out and just weakened from there. The testing ground over 2m2f stretched her but 2m on better ground is a massive positive for her.

That mares’ hurdle form is really strong with the winner Heaven Help Us winning the Coral Cup off 138, while Global Equity was second in a listed novice race on her next start. Tellmesomethinggirl won the Mares’ Novice Hurdle at Cheltneham while Mrs Milner fell in that race at Leopardstown then won the Pertemps. Ruaille Buaille has been dropped 1lb for that performance and she will definitely win a handicap soon.

15.20 (Sun) – Santa Rossa

SANTA ROSSA was a top class bumper mare back in the 2018/2019 season and stands a chance in the Mares’ Novice Hurdle here. She won a Grade 2 mares’ bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival in 2019 and followed up with a third against the geldings at Aintree – McFabulous won that day and she was less than 4l behind. She was then fifth in the Grade 1 Punchestown bumper, beaten by less than 5l with Colreevy, Abacadabras, Beacon Edge and Embittered ahead of her so that was a really strong renewal.

She has had one start over hurdles last season when third behind Exit Poll and Jon Snow while Lynwood Gold was fourth but was off another year before winning at Navan over 2m by 10l. She has the back class to win this and I think she has a big chance. She’s never been 2½m but I wouldn’t be concerned about the step up as she never looked like stopping that day in Navan. She’s at least a Grade 2 mare and potentially a Grade 1.

Santa Rossa Robbie Power Navan March 13, 2021



15.50 (Sun) – Gentlemansgame

I like GENTLEMANSGAME in the 2½m Grade 2 Colm Quinn Novice Hurdle on Sunday, as he has the potential to be top class. I’m a big fan of the horse and he bolted up on hurdles debut at Cork over 2m. He was then second over 2m6f at the Dublin Racing Festival behind Gaillard Du Mesnil – who was second in the Ballymore – and ahead of Stattler, who finished fourth in the Albert Bartlett. He has a big chance if he takes his place here and is definitely one to keep in mind chasing next year.

17.00 (Sun) – Energumene

ENERGUMENE has been extremely impressive in winning all three chase starts in fast times and was being aimed at the Arkle before a slight injury. He has won over 2½m so the trip is no issue in this Novice Chase. I genuinely think he is top class and was convinced he was going to put it up to Shishkin, so he would be tough to beat here if he takes his chance.

I can’t look beyond Energumene winning if he runs. What would be interesting is if there is money going against him here. We’ve priced him up conservatively at odds-on as people will be knocking down the door trying to back him, but if the money starts going against him it might indicate that he’s not going to run.

*Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing/Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason, you will lose your stake under traditional antepost rules

Frank Hickey’s Fairyhouse Easter Festival antepost bet summary

16.05 (Sat) – Ruaille Buaille
15.20 (Sun) – Santa Rossa
15.50 (Sun) – Gentlemansgame
17.00 (Sun) – Energumene

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