Horse Racing Tips: 6 slick picks for Fairyhouse & Cork on Sunday

After picking a couple of winners last weekend, PPTV'S James Shortt marks your card for Sunday's action.



*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change


Level Neverending looks the horse to beat but the form of the Gordon Elliott stable remains a concern which sides me towards SMOOTH SCOTCH in the opening maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday. Stuart Crawford’s runner improved for his debut run at Naas by finishing a staying on third behind Bring On The Night at the same venue at the backend of February. The winner looks a horse to follow for Willie Mullins having subsequently finished fourth in the Supreme at Cheltenham.

Smooth Scotch should appreciate the extra distance on pedigree with a first-time tongue-tie used under jockey J J Slevin. Level Neverending won back-to-back bumpers last year for Joseph O’Brien and finished a neck second to In From The Cold on his hurdling debut for Gordon Elliott at Wexford last October. Elsewhere, Patsy’s Honour can only improve from a bad run at Naas, while Big Kitten, Hory and Clairmac look the other leading contenders.




I’m happy to stay with Bring On The Night’s maiden hurdle at Naas in late February and hope SNAKE OIL can enhance that form in this second-division of the 2-mile 4-furlong maiden hurdle. The Barry Connell trained and owned runner was unlucky to come across a good horse on that occasion and looks set for compensation here under Sean Flanagan.  

He has plenty of experience over hurdles having raced at Galway and Leopardstown while also winning a Listowel bumper last September. His run at Naas was eye-catching after such a long break with Arlo looking one of the main dangers for Stuart Crawford. His fourth to Highland Charge at Naas in late February was a good run and he should appreciate the extra trip to challenge for a place.


The Beauty Stable owners have done well with Ger Lyons over the past year and might have another nice horse with Beauty Crescent making his debut in this 5-furlong maiden. Beauty Inspire landed a gamble for connections when winning on debut last June at the Curragh before following up in the Anglesey Stakes also at HQ in July. Beauty Amazed was their most recent winner when landing his maiden at Dundalk in February, so this partnership is going beautifully so far. 

Beauty Crescent is related to several sprint winners in Worship and Time To Strike with Ger Lyons having a strong 38% strike-rate with juveniles at Cork in the past five-seasons. The market will be a positive guide as always with Crispy Cat, National Question and Polar Bear the main opposition. National Question is a half-brother to Loch Garman, while Polar Bear represents Jessica Harrington and Crispy Cat runs for Amo Racing, who’ve started the season brightly on both sides of the Irish sea.




FLAME BEARER has been improving rapidly in recent months and this Grade 2 Novice Hurdle looks another good opportunity for Pat Doyle’s runner to score in graded company yet again. The mount of Jack Doyle put an unlucky run behind Bronn behind him when scoring easily here in January before landing a nice prize at Naas at the backend of February.

He takes on Ha D’Or again and must give weight away to Willie Mullins’ runner and all other rivals in this contest. The Closutton team have dominated this race, winning seven of the previous ten renewals with both Deploy The Getaway and Hawai Game also in opposition. However, Flame Bearer looks open to further progression and gets the vote, while it will be interesting to see how The Tide Turns runs after disappointing at Cheltenham. 


Willie Mullins is strongly represented in this closing mares Listed bumper with son Patrick riding Nikini following her run behind Lily Du Berlais at the Dublin Racing Festival. The majority of these are back here following that Leopardstown contest, including Battling Bessie who finished best of these in second place on that occasion for Peter Fahey. However, I’m happy to take a punt on DORANS WEIR for Michael Hourigan following several good runs last December.

The daughter of Fame And Glory won a Thurles bumper in the fog just before Christmas with the second and third subsequently enhancing the form with victories. Burn The Evidence won twice afterwards at Ayr and here at Fairyhouse, while Reine Machine claimed a maiden hurdle at Leopardstown last month. Dorans Weir is interesting and will hopefully represent some each-way value against the Mullins runners which also includes Eabha Grace who ran behind Luccia at Sandown.



Radiyaka kicked-off the new season with a winner for Dermot Weld last weekend and I’m hoping KALIYSTA for the same connections can score in the closing 1-mile 2-furlong maiden at Cork. The Aga Khan owned filly made eye-catching late headway when fourth on debut at Leopardstown over seven-furlongs last summer and will clearly appreciate the step-up in trip here under Chris Hayes. 

The daughter of Holy Roman Emperor is a half-sister to Kailash who funnily enough broke her maiden here over course and distance for Dermot Weld last year. Limiti Di Greccio has enhanced the form since with listed success in the Staffordstown Stud Stakes at HQ last October. Shark Bay is the obvious danger for Aidan O’Brien and will also enjoy the step up in trip, while Paddy Towney’s Spasiba needs a market watch with the trainer having a 67% strike-rate with his 3-year-olds at Cork.

James Shortt’s Tips:

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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