Let’s Dance was impressive when winning at the Cheltenham Festival last month and she is the odds-on favourite for the contest at Fairyhouse on Sunday
WILLIE MULLINS launches a four-pronged attack on the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final at Fairyhouse.
Let’s Dance spearheads his contenders as the five-year-old provided leading owner Rich Ricci with his only winner at last month’s Cheltenham Festival when coming from a long way back to land the Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
Mullins’ mare is odds-on favourite to extend her winning run and claim her first Grade 1 success on Easter Sunday.
CLAIM YOUR FREE £10 BET WITH SUN BETS
Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father, said: “Let’s Dance won well over two miles off a strong gallop in Cheltenham, coming from off the pace.
“I’d say she’s very versatile, so going back up in trip to two and a half won’t be a problem to her and the track and the ground should suit her fine.
“Holly Conte, who rides her out every day, is very happy with her and hopefully she can follow up her Cheltenham win and get that Grade 1 in the bag.”
Ruby Walsh has unsurprisingly sided with Let’s Dance over her three stablemates.
“She’s very talented and you’d be hoping the two and a half miles on Sunday would suit her better than two miles at Cheltenham,” the jockey told Racing UK.
“That was the only concern we had going there with her because she’d been a much-improved mare going up in trip this season.
LESS IS MORE
Don’t miss Matt Chapman’s latest column as he reflects on All-Weather Championships Finals Day
Matt Chapman’s racing tips for ITV’s racing from Lingfield and Newcastle this Friday
DANDY’S A GENIUS
Retiring trainer Dandy Nicholls labelled a “genius” by son and former jockey Adrian
Cheltenham Festival winner Yorkhill puts his unbeaten record over fences on the line at Fairyhouse
YORK CAN STRIKE AGAIN
Top Tipster Eamonn Hames’ best horse racing tips for Sunday’s racing from Fairyhouse and Cork
Sovereign Debt capped off a memorable day for trainer Ruth Carr in the Sunbets All-Weather Mile Championships Conditions Stakes at Lingfield
Racing Tips – Matt Chapman’s TV Tips for Ascot, Wincanton and Haydock on Saturday, February 18
JAZZ IT UP
Marco Botti reports Aljazzi is in great form ahead of the Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes at Kempton
“She’s had a great season and hopefully she can keep it going.”
Airlie Beach, the mount of Paul Townend, claimed the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at this venue in December, but finished tailed off behind Let’s Dance after making much of the running at Cheltenham.
Mullins also saddles Augusta Kate (David Mullins), who was sixth in the Albert Bartlett at Prestbury Park, and Clonmel maiden hurdle winner Good Thyne Tara (Mikey Fogarty).
“Airlie Beach won her Grade 1 here against the geldings. She was disappointing in Cheltenham, but perhaps she wasn’t suited by coming back off a long lay-off,” said Mullins junior.
“We’re hoping that will have blown away the cobwebs and she’ll come back to her best.
“Augusta Kate was a bit disappointing in Cheltenham, too. She made a bad mistake in the back straight and couldn’t get back into it after that.
“She seems well since and coming back against her own sex, she has to be taken very seriously.
“Good Thyne Tara is lacking in experience, but I think she has an awful lot of ability.
“The mares’ programme has really improved and this looks right up to scratch for a Grade 1.”
Gordon Elliott is represented by the Gigginstown House Stud-owned pair of Barra and Shattered Love.
Barra was runner-up to Let’s Dance at Cheltenham, while Shattered Love was well-beaten by the boys in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle.
British challenger Colin’s Sister completes the seven-strong field.
The six-year-old is four from four over hurdles and was supplemented for this event by trainer Fergal O’Brien.
“I think she’s third favourite and deserves her place in the race,” said the Naunton-based trainer.
“She had an over-reach before Cheltenham, which meant we couldn’t run her there. But to be fair, if you were going to map a race out for her this would be it – a two-and-a-half-mile novice.
“We’d have preferred the ground a bit softer, but we’ll give it a go and see what happens.
“She’s done nothing wrong this year, this will be her fifth run of the season and hopefully she comes out of it OK and she’ll then have a summer’s grass.”