HELLO PUNTERS:- Well. it has to be said that Fairyhouse was really resplendant for the Irish National weekend, and the crowds were well up to past standards. The course itself is in the parish of Ratoath in the County Meath, and has long been one of the premier racecourses in Ireland. The very first meeting at this course was held as far back as 1848, with the Irish National first seeing the light of day in 1870. The circuit of the racecourse is just under two miles, and is of an undulating nature, with most of its history being involved, since its inception with racing of the "over the sticks" variety.
In comparatively recent years, some flat racing was introduced to put a bit of variety into the programs, although these races were mostly confined to the younger horses, two and three year olds, run mostly over sprint distances.
The list of famous horses who ran over the course would be like a "who's who" of the very best exponents, and would include great horses like, Arkle, Desert Orchid, Red Rum, Persian War, Prince Regent, and L'Escargot, to name just a few of the most notable. The recent improvements to the overall infrastructure has only served to enhance further the brilliant facilities which are at the disposal of public and bookmakers alike, and would be well up to standards at racecourses anywhere. Now, a little about the weekend's fare.
The Power Gold Cup on Sunday had a very small, but select field, with the Mullin's yard having two trying to win the prize. In the final straight, with one of the Mullin's team already out of the race, and going to the second last, the easy leader was Ballycasey, who was galloping all over his two rivals, who were trying their utmost to stay with the pace, Ballycasey fell here, however, which left the Michael Winters trained Rebel Fitz to go on for an easy but fortunate victory. Well, as one man said, "lucky would be the word for it alright, but, you know, the fences are put there to be jumped!" The Irish Grand National was staged on Easter Monday, and a great spectacle it turned out to be, with 28 runners, and a wide open betting race at 8/1 the field. With Ruby Walsh and Tony McCoy on the absent list, Barry Geraghty was given the mount on Shutthefrontdoor, and with a great battling display, he just got home from Golden Wonder and Saoirse Dun, in a terrific tussle over the last two fences. The winning rider, Geraghty, is having one of his best seasons ever, and rightly so, for he has proven not alone to be a very talented horseman, but also a terrific jockey when riding out a finish. Another good performance was that of the almost white Thousand Stars, when, in the featured hurdle race, against a small but talented field, he made every post a winning one, to give the Mullin's yard a well deserved victory. Well, that's the Fairyhouse showpiece over for another year, but the course executive can look back on the whole weekend with a great deal of satisfaction and pride!
We begin our winner trek on Friday at Sandown, where, in the Classic Trial race, Western Hymn, who seems flying at the moment, can go in again here, with Hartnell giving him most trouble. The Esher Cup should go to Matalleb, and another winner for Hanagan, with Bilimbi also showing up well. Lastly for Friday, look to Contributer for a profit, for he should win from Michael Stoute's Telescope. On now to Saturday, and Sandown again, where, in the Oaksey Chase, Rolling Aces can come good at the expense of Hunt Ball, while, in the Celebration Chase, Module might just have the legs of Hunt Ball. Our final tip is in the Novice Chase, where Masseena should be too good for Top of the Range. Hoping that this lot may see you on the profit side of the weekend.
The Selection Box.
Fri:- Sand:- 1-40- Matalleb, 2-10- Contributer, 3-15- Western Hymn.
Sat:- Sand:- 2-40- Rolling Aces, 3-15- Module, 5-00- Masseena.
Best of luck everybody, and................ Good Hunting!