The exciting Cheltenham Festival winning duo HoneySuckle and Envoi Allen are the star names ahead of the three Grade One races at Fairyhouse on Sunday.
The Drimore Novices Chase, the Royal Bond Novices Hurdle, and the Hatton's Grace Hurdle are the features on one of the biggest days of the national hunt season before Christmas.
Honeysuckle makes her eagerly awaited return to action in the Grade One BarOneRacing.com Hatton’s Grace Hurdle, a race she won a year ago on the way to Irish Champion Hurdle and Cheltenham Festival success for owner Kenny Alexander, Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore.
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A five-time winner at Fairyhouse, she heads the nine remaining entries in the race with Elliott’s Fury Road, the Willie Mullins-trained Saldier, Noel Meade’s Beacon Edge and the Matthew Smith-trained Ronald Pump among the opposition.
The unbeaten Cheveley Park Stud-owned Envoi Allen stands out among the seven horses remaining in the Grade One BarOneRacing.com Drinmore Novice Chase.
Trainer Gordon Elliott has already won this on five occasions, with Delta Work, Death Duty and subsequent Gold Cup winner Don Cossack among the quintet.
Owners Gigginstown House Stud might well provide the stiffest opposition with four contenders, Embittered, Easywork, Assemble and Coko Beach with the JP McManus-owned Andy Dufresne and Sean O’Driscoll’s hat-trick seeker Home By The Lee also remaining at the five-day-stage.
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Peter Roe, General Manager of Fairyhouse Racecourse, said: “I am delighted with the quality and depth of entries for our Winter festival.
"Sunday’s card featuring the Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle has attracted all the top middle-distance hurdlers led by Fairyhouse favourite Honeysuckle which will be bidding for her sixth win at the track and maintain her unbeaten record, but she faces opposition from the likes of Saldier and Ronald Pump.
"Envoi Allen will be bidding to create history and become the first horse to win three different races in three consecutive years on this card having previously won the bumper and the Royal Bond.
“This weekend is firmly established as a feature of the jumps calendar and this year looks no different except that we will unfortunately not be able to entertain the public who love their National Hunt stars.
"We hope that people will tune into RTE 2 on Sunday and Racing TV over the two days, follow us through our social channels and visit the Racing From Home page on our website.
“The ground is currently soft with a mainly dry forecast, after some light rain today.”