2023 Sunday Fairyhouse Winter Festival Tips – DS
2023 Sunday Fairyhouse Winter Festival Preview
Will our fortunes change in Fairyhouse? Let’s bloody hope so. 2023 Sunday Fairyhouse Winter Festival tips are below.
12.25 – Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 3)
There’s a distinct Gallic flavour to this Grade 3 hurdle. The big three yards of Elliott, Mullins and De Bromhead dominate the head of the market with French recruits.
Gordon Elliott’s Kala Conti has already made her Irish debut, dotting up in a three runner race at Naas on heavy ground. She did produce a couple of slowish jumps but there is no doubt that she has an engine.
Batman Girac represents Willie Mullins and Townend rides. He won a conditions hurdle at Compiegne on his second start over 16f on heavy. Two winners came out of the race but to be honest, the form is hard to weigh up.
Nara will carry the JP McManus silks for Henry De Bromhead with Mark Walsh in the plate. She won a Listed hurdle at Auteuil in April by 8L. However, none of the four horses that were behind her that day that have run since have won.
Ose Partir continues the French theme. Trained by man of the moment Martin Brassil, he ran a lovely race on debut at Galway behind Kaleosun, another French bred gelding. JJ Slevin gave him an ‘educational’ ride but Jack Kennedy didn’t have to get overly serious on the winner either and I’m not sure there should be such a big difference in their prices (6/1 vs 25/1).
One that definitely looks overpriced at 16/1 is Eagle Fang. Bought at the sales by William Durkan for 45k, this son of Free Eagle has run crackers on both starts over timber. On his Irish debut at Cork he was beat half a length on yielding to soft ground (16f), finishing 3L ahead of Kaleosun.
Last time out he ran another fine race over today’s C&D. The ground was bottomless and the 7lbs he had to give to the in form Fratas probably made the difference. They pulled well clear of the rest so it was another decent effort.
The return to slightly better ground should suit Durkan’s charge. He has a turn of foot, as he showed at Cork, and he showed a good attitude here last time. I’d argue that his Cork form is as good as any of the French import’s and at 16/1, he is the e/w selection.
2023 Sunday Fairyhouse Winter Festival Tip: Eagle Fang e/w @ 16/1
12.55 – Porterstown Handicap Chase (Listed)
After being plagued with non completers in the last few weeks, I’m putting up a horse that has form figures of P2PPF3P on his last seven runs. Bravery or stupidity? Probably the latter, but Street Value was running a huge race on his last visit to Fairyhouse before falling at the final fence and he is in off the same mark today.
He was pulled up in his previous two starts before that effort so he is capable of bouncing back from a poor outing at Carlisle last month. In that last Fairyhouse run he was bang there alongside Macs Charm jumping the last but he dived at it and went arse over tit. Would he have won, probably not, but he wouldn’t have been far away from the winner, and the runner up, Sir Bob.
Sir Bob was running off 117 that day and he won the Cork National last time out off 122. He re-opposes here and he is now rated 129, so Street Value is 12lbs better off with him compared to last April. He’ll love this soft ground, I’d imagine this race has been the plan and while he definitely isn’t one for huge stakes, at 25/1 a small e/w interest is advised.
2023 Sunday Fairyhouse Winter Festival Tip: Street Value e/w @ 25/1 (5 Places)
1.25 – Bar One Royal Bond Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)
An Tobar is a warm order for this Grade 1 for Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore. The son of Gentlewave won his P2P by 20L and he landed a maiden hurdle here on his rules debut in pretty taking style last month. The runner up franked the form a few weeks later and he looks a very exciting prospect. The ground should be fine for him.
Encanto Bruno, on the other hand, would probably like much better ground than this. The son of Mahler is 4/4 on proper good ground and on his sole start on soft he finished well beat in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham. He was impressive at that track last time, but he may not be quite as effective on today’s surface.
Looking at the prices this morning, I’m surprised to see Fascile Mode as big as 16s. The Leopardstown bumper winner made his debut over hurdles back in October at Punchestown (16f yld/sft). Now, his jumping wasn’t as slick as it could have been but he absolutely hacked up, beating Barometer by 12 lengths.
That form isn’t strong but he ran well enough in a Grade 2 bumper at Leopardstown last season and he was too free to do himself justice in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham. He can get a bit worked up in the prelims, which is a worry, but if connections can keep a lid on him and he settles early on in the race, hopefully Fascile Mode can sneak into the frame at odds of 16/1.
2023 Sunday Fairyhouse Winter Festival Tip: Fascile Mode e/w @ 16/1
2.00 – Bar One Drinmore Novice Chase (Grade 1)
Just five run here and it’s a race I am more than happy to leave well alone. No bet.
2023 Sunday Fairyhouse Winter Festival Tip: No bet
2.35 – Bar One Hatton’s Grace Hurdle (Grade 1)
Another small field. Of the five runners, two are trained by Elliott and two by Willie Mullins. The lone soldier taking on the big boys is Buddy One, JP Gilligan’s new stable star. He’s been busy the last few months, running four times already since August. He has won his last two, including a decent Cheltenham handicap off 147 last time. He had a hard race that day though and that’s enough to put me off backing him today.
Impaire Et Passe is the class horse in the race and he is odds on. He does lack a recent run but he hacked up first time up last season. Zanahiyr has a fitness edge on the fav after a solid outing behind Bob Olinger at Navan. If he repeated his Aintree third behind Constitution Hill he could make his presence felt.
Teauphoo and Ashroe Diamond both make their seasonal returns and they are both Grade 1 winners. This may be a small race but it is a high quality affair and while it isn’t a betting race for me, I’m really looking forward to watching it. No bet.
2023 Sunday Fairyhouse Winter Festival Tip: no bet
3.10 – Bar One Handicap Hurdle (Listed)
If Hey Johnny wins this after he ran so poorly when we backed him at Cheltenham I’ll be sick. However, he stopped as though something was amiss that day and the fact that connections now apply the tongue tie suggests that it may have been a respiratory issue. If they can get him right he has a big pot in him but I can’t justify tipping him again today after that alarming effort.
Tom Mullins also runs Morning Soldier. Conor Stone Walsh takes off 5lbs and he is bidding to win his third race from three starts in the National Hunt sphere. Better known as a flat jockey, he is 2/2 over jumps with the wins coming for Gavin Cromwell and Baby Joseph.
This 4yo son of The Gurkha has a couple of pieces of form that suggest 119 is workable. At Punchestown a year ago he split Nusret and Calico in a 3yo hurdle at Punchestown. He was 6l behind the winner off level weights and he’s now rated 139. Calico was 2.5L behind in 3rd in receipt of 7lbs from Morning Soldier and she is now rated 132.
On his last start, Mullins’ charge ran a nice race at Naas (16f sft). He was 4.5L behind the winner Smooth Tom, a very progressive horse that will surely get a 130+ rating after two wins from two starts over timber.
Morning Soldier did run a stinker in a similar race to this at Listowel on his handicap debut, but that was on good ground. Hopefully this ground suits him better and judging from his Naas run, it should do. At odds of 16/1, he is the e/w selection.