McManus’s lightweight can make most of the conditions in Fairyhouse feature

Willie Mullins outnumbers Gordon Elliott in €100,000 feature on final day of festival

The final day of Fairyhouse's Easter festival sees Willie Mullins outnumber Gordon Elliott in runners , although one of JP McManus's six starters in the €100,000 feature could be the big-money winner.

Gran Jeste is the bottom rated of McManus’s half-dozen for the RYBO Handicap Hurdle but a relative featherweight of 10.2 will count for a lot in the testing conditions.

Course officials are “hopeful” Tuesday’s action can get the go-ahead after an 8.0am inspection due to the threat of overnight rain.

“We’re expecting a couple of mils but if the ground gets a chance to recover I would be hopeful,” said the course manager Peter Roe.


Half of Mullins's 16 declarations on the entire card take their chance in the big handicap including Max Dynamite – twice placed in the Melbourne Cup – who will have Rachael Blackmore on his back for the first time.

The task of cajoling Max Dynamite into transferring his outstanding flat form to flights is starting to look difficult and instead Paul Townend has opted for Uradel from the Mullins eight.

McManus’s riding arrangements see Barry Geraghty on the Elliott-trained Destin d’Ajonc with Mark Walsh on Off You Go.

The owner’s pair, Landofhopeandglory and Tigris River, top the handicap but towards the bottom of the 22 runners is Gran Jeste and rider Jody McGarvey.

Heavy ground

Gran Jeste was trainer Liz Doyle’s first runner for McManus when winning his maiden on heavy ground at Navan during the winter.

He has to concede experience to a lot of these but ran as if he could step up significantly next time when a running on fifth to Grand Partner at Leopardstown last month.

Mullins has half of the eight runners in the Grade Two Boylesports Juvenile Hurdle. Elliott has declared three, leaving Joseph O’Brien’s outsider Grey Waters as the odd man out.

Townend has opted for Saglawy from a Sullivan Bloodstock trio although if Saldier has recovered from his Triumph exertions, where inexperience looked to let him down, he could be hard to beat.

Asthuria finished ahead of both Youcantcallherthat and Dinaria Des Obeaux when runner-up to her stable companion Benie Des Dieux at Naas in February.

She can confirm that form in the Grade Three mares chase while the easy Limerick winner Castafiore Park has a featherweight in the novice hurdle final and should relish this three-mile stamina test.

Stamina won't be an issue for Fenno's Storm in the hunters chase and the combination of Nina Carberry and Sunsetstorise look attractive in the Ladies Chase.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column