Our top picks at Fairyhouse on Sundays

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Gordon Elliott and Gavin Cromwell have dominated that Fairyhouse opener for the past five years and are expected to fight for the finish there. Britzka looks the better of the two contenders at Cullentra House after a first hurdles victory here last month, before finishing a third honorable to her teammate Fil Dor in ranked company at Leopardstown over Christmas.

Iberique Du Seuil fought to win in Cork but was previously well beaten by WHITE PEPPER in Galway last October. Gavin Cromwell’s filly will race again under Luke Dempsey and should be fresh on the return after finishing third at Aintree last month. The Fast Company girl is a favorite in Liverpool and her weight allowance should be enough to take out Britzka.

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THE GLORY OF BROOKLYNN won his first two rear races of 2020 impressively for Willie Mullins and is set to make his way over the hurdles this season. The Fame And Glory girl was not dishonored when she finished fourth ahead of her teammate Grangee at the Dublin Racing Festival last February before ending the season on the pitch here at Easter.

He’s a strong galloping guy who travels well and I think any further rain will improve his chances under Paul Townend. Banntown Girl appears to be her greatest danger after running well in her recent startups, both here at Fairyhouse and at a listed company in Punchestown last month. Jumping Jet is another for the shortlist while I would also keep an eye out for Morne Lass who finished behind Bonttay at Market Rasen last August.

All eyes will be on Glenquin Castle for Martin Brassil and Mark Walsh as the JP McManus rider seeks a remarkable eight stopwatch. Getaway’s son deserves a lot of credit with four wins in fencing and three over hurdles since the winning streak started at Roscommon last August. He returns to the hurdles with a revised 117 after back-to-back wins at Punchestown – will his winning run end today?

I’m sorry for being a party animal, but to answer my own question I think it will and that’s because ARDHILL seems a well handicapped rival for Gordon Elliott. As jockey Adam Wedge said after the Ascot win, “I just had to point and steer” and that was certainly the way of doing it. He was placed extremely well by Elliot’s team and the use of blinders clearly helped. He returns here after missing Leopardstown and seems more than capable of keeping up 111 under Jack Kennedy.

GRANGES WALK is a horse on the rise and progressing well over the fences for trainer John Ryan and gets the vote to win the Dan & Joan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase. Although he finished second behind Dunvegan here in November, the seven-year-old was impressive when he scored out of beat at Leopardstown two weeks ago.

Thewayouaré’s son has now recorded three wins and two attempts for second over obstacles after nine starts with connections aiming for this race after the success at Foxrock. Despite a 7 Ib rise in scores, the Christmas win mode suggests he can progress further and go very close. Elsewhere, Pat Fahy runs both Castlegrace Paddy and Dunvegan with other Poseidon and Capuccimix on the shortlist in a competitive renewal.

Saint Sam is an intriguing runner on his debut in pursuit of Willie Mullins and Paul Townend after a successful season as a young hurdler last year. Saint Des Saints’ son has had excellent races behind Quilixious and Jeff Kidder at the Dublin Racing and Cheltenham festivals and going through the fences could be his raison d’être. However, I side with the Mullins runner and am happy to side with the side again. LEDIABLECOACHMAN which has the advantage of race-fitness.

Noel Meade’s runner achieved a similar rating to Saint Sam’s on hurdles and was not dishonored behind Appreciate It at Christmas 2020. After winning a listed hurdles contest at Punchestown and finishing behind Echoes In Rain at Last Easter he got off to a good start to his career chasing last month. He learned a lot behind Grade 1 winner Ferney Hollow and returns here after missing a recent round against Haut En Couleurs at Leopardstown.

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The 2-5ft Novice Chase appears to be a very open competition and surprisingly hasn’t been won by a horse that has come back more than 9/2 in the past seven years. SHOP has been the most consistent of those runners and should appreciate the increased run to score for Jim Dreaper and Keith Donoghue. The former point-to-point winner from Loughbrickland is versatile in terms of terrain and should also have the opportunity to score after recently running shorter distances.

Dean’s daughter was staying nicely in Clonmel last month and is expected to be played late by Keith Donoghue who is back in the saddle today. Elsewhere, Millen To One has been placed again at Leopardstown and is expected to be there or pretty much again for Francis Flood, while Farceur Du Large, Champagne Sparkles and Spades Are Trumps are also on the shortlist. It’s a competitive race, but the form, consistency and ideal conditions suggest that Shopping Around is a solid game in every way.

Irish Racing’s two powerhouses, Closutton and Cullentra House have dominated this fence bumper in recent years and are battling with Grivei and CALDWELL DIAMOND This year. Gordon Elliott won this race last year with Gerri Colombe and made his debut here with his gelding son from Sholokhov for owners Andy and Gemma Brown. It’s great to see more investment in Irish racing with the English couple establishing a relationship with respected blood agent Joey Logan.

Caldwell Diamond’s dam is a half-sister to a French group winner and on the pedigree could appreciate the conditions underfoot better than Grivei. Tim O’Driscoll’s rider also has French blood in his pedigree, but his sire Muhtathir has been more effective on better grounds during his career. The market will be informative as always, while Silver King shouldn’t be overlooked after finishing a good third on his Naas debut last month for Oliver McKiernan.

Fairyland tips on Sunday

12:50 White Pepper
13:20 Brooklynn Glory (NAP)
13:50 Ardhill (NB)
14:20 Grange Walk (EW)
14:50 The devilcoachman
15:20 Shopping around (EW)
15:50 Caldwell Diamond

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* All prices are up to date with our stylish widgets, while copy quotes are correct at time of posting but subject to change

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