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Dublin: 13 °C Sunday 26 May, 2019

3 expert tips for Easter Sunday's racing at Fairyhouse

Heed Your Hunch returns with Thom Malone’s picks for Day One at the County Meath course.

Rachael Blackmore will ride Honeysuckle.
Rachael Blackmore will ride Honeysuckle.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THE FAIRYHOUSE EASTER Festival is in full flow this Bank Holiday weekend, and Betway’s Heed Your Hunch will once again provide you with three top tips each day

Easter. Forget about chocolate, it’s all about Fairyhouse.

They kick off at the County Meath venue as soon as the eggs have been opened on Easter Sunday. While much of the focus is on the big race on Monday, the rest of the cards are choc-full of quality.

The Grade One Ryanair Gold Cup Chase (4.25) on Sunday sees plenty of Cheltenham runners facing off against each other. The race has an illustrious roll of honour with this year’s Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo winning the 2018 renewal.

Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott dominate the entries in this race, as one would expect, but our selection, Winter Escape (3/1), is trained by Aidan Howard. 

The eight-year-old is owned by JP McManus, who has won this race with less-fancied horses in the past. The ground was surely too quick for Winter Escape at Leopardstown and having had a little break after skipping Cheltenham, Sunday looks to be the big plan for him.

The other Grade One on the card is for mares and fillies only, and a dual-course winner can do the business at Fairyhouse again. Honeysuckle (7/4) missed her intended Cheltenham engagement, so turns up here fresh. This looks her ideal trip, although she will get further and fences in time.

Ridden by Rachel Blackmore, Honeysuckle is expected to continue her winning run in the Grade One Mares Novice Hurdle (2.50).

Tom Taaffe Trainer Tom Taaffe. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

One horse that could be well handicapped at Fairyhouse is Riders Onthe Storm (3/1),
running off a rating of 140. He fell at Cheltenham, which isn’t ideal, but if it hasn’t
left a mark and he will be competitive in what is a lesser race than the one at the
Festival.

Earlier in the season at Limerick, he was third behind Hardline and Getabird, which are both Grade One horses.

Tom Taaffe’s six-year-old should be able to make amends for Cheltenham in the Novice Handicap Chase (3.50).

Finally, if you’re following today’s action from the telly, you will also be able to catch the Betway Steeplechase at 3.10 in Cork on RTÉ2′s coverage of the Fairyhouse Festival. 

Get your money back as a free bet if your horse loses on the first race each day of the Fairyhouse Festival with Betway’s Money Back Special. You can also win a prize of £25k each day of the festival on Betway’s Insider Blog with 4 To Win, a free-to-play prediction game. Offer as above. 18+, always gamble responsibly. For more, see Dunlewey.net

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