Jezki heads a top-class line up for Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse
Willie Mullins’ strong team includes the likes of Hurricane Fly and the exciting Faugheen
Barry Geraghy and Jezki jump clear ahead of My Tent Or Yours (Tony McCoy) during the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham last March. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Current two-mile king Jezki is due to make his reappearance in the Morgiana Hurdle this weekend and he may be joined at Fairyhouse by his half-brother Jetson, who created his own piece of history by becoming the first horse to beat Quevega in Ireland or England since 2009 at Punchestown in May.
Willie Mullins has an enviable hand as along with his two-time champion Hurricane Fly and the exciting Faugheen, he has also entered the likes of Annie Power and Zaidpour.
Jonjo O’Neill’s More Of That is still unbeaten and lowered Annie Power’s colours at Cheltenham, so would be an exciting addition to the race were he to travel but he has Newbury’s Long Distance Hurdle as an alternative.
Gordon Elliott’s Triumph Hurdle winner Tiger Roll and Noel Meade’s Monksland, not sighted since winning the Christmas Hurdle last December, are other possibles.
A dual Grade One winner in novice hurdles, he put in a flawless display of jumping on his fencing debut for Dessie Hughes last week. Meade’s Apache Stronghold, Shanahan’s Turn and Gilgamboa give the race added lustre.
The Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle, won by The Tullow Tank last year, is the third Grade One of the meeting and Mullins has entered Punchestown Champion Bumper winner Shaneshill and French import Allez Colombieres.
Elliott has the promising dual bumper winner No More Heroes entered for Gigginstown House Stud and also the JP McManus-owned Free Expression, who was an easy winner at Naas on Saturday.
Promising filly Scooping is also set to take the next step on the ladder. A three-year-old daughter of Dylan Thomas and a half-sister to Grade One-winning hurdler Won In The Dark, she stayed on well to impress at Down Royal, making a mockery of her 50-1 starting price.
Trained by Eamon Delany, she was twice a winner of handicaps at Leopardstown on the Flat this year, including beating Panama Hat, who went on to win five races on the bounce afterwards.
Delany said: “We were very pleased with her, she’s a handy little filly who jumps well and looks to be progressive over jumps. All being well we’ll head for the Grade Three (Winter Juvenile 3YO Hurdle) at Fairyhouse on November 30th and, if she’s good enough, it will be on to Leopardstown over Christmas.”
Fairyhouse manager Peter Roe said: “We are thrilled with the quality of the entries for what is now firmly established as the best jumps fixture in the first half of the season.
“We are thrilled to have the last two winners of the Champion Hurdle and the 2014 World Hurdle winner among the entries for the Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace while the two novice races have also attracted stellar entries.”