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It’s a cracking Sunday of Jumps action at Fairyhouse and we’re after one thing… winning horses. Don’t forget the day’s feature is the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle (14:40) at Co Meath track and features the return of Henry De Bromhead’s superstar Honeysuckle.
So, we’ve asked our star pundits of Ruby Walsh, Paul Jacobs and Paddy Power to put their top tips today into a Lucky 15. And thankfully, they’ve done just that for us!
Okay, let’s get to the bets…
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It’s a very good race, but I’ve just been really impressed with MY MATE MOZZIE at Punchestown and Navan. I think Fairyhouse will suit him with dry ground. He’s a worthy favourite and the one I’d want to be on.
Gabynako was good on his Beginners Chase here on his last start. I loved the way he jumped, attacking fences and putting his rivals to the sword. I was really impressed with LIFETIME AMBITION at Down Royal when he beat Beacon Edge and Vanillier in a really competitive race.
Whereas Lifetime Ambition was a bit in and out as a hurdler, the way he went about his business at Down Royal was eye-catching and I reckon he can overturn Gabynako here.
The biggest ‘near’ certainty in racing is, more often than not, that we need to expect into our racing brains the unexpected! It makes common sense, doesn’t it, because if the expected happened the majority of the time then the racing/betting/bookmaker model simply would not survive…
So I ‘expect’ several of the entries here not to even go to post with the drying weather still in charge and that could see my nine-year-old selection FORZA MILAN go very close here in a smaller field than expected for this long gallop.
Last time out at Cheltenham in the amateur rider’s handicap chase the selection hugely compromised his chance by a shuddering blunder at the sixth. He then took a while to warm to his task before making ground from about five out and finishing a never nearer 18 length fourth of the 13 runners. This extra yardage is certainly in his favour and it is worth remembering he ran well in this contest last year when the ground may well have been a shade too deep for him.
Smoking Gun is beginning to look very well treated on some of his old form, but a fall at the first in the Troytown wouldn’t have done his confidence any good and bigger dangers look to be the lightweight The Dabbler and Eurobot who is sure to have come on for his seasonal debut in the Cork National.
A quick word about Brian Rothwell’s charge at the bottom of the weights, indeed out of the weights, which doesn’t matter too much in a race over this distance, Fiveaftermidnight. This son of Getaway is only 2lbs wrong and has suggested on more than one occasion recently that a thorough test of stamina would suit him perfectly. If I can get the price I want I may even have a saver to my selection on him as he is totally unexposed over this kind of trip.
HONEYSUCKLE just keeps doing it for Henry De Bromhead. The stable is flying, the jockey Rachael Blackmore can do no wrong and the mare wins first time out every season! The trip is perfect, the ground should be fine and she clearly is the best horse in the race.
The Hatton’s Grace Hurdle is quite compelling really! The only thing is, at what stage does in become a fear of failure with her – rather than the excitement of just winning all the time? That’s what makes this intriguing.
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