The Grade 1 2m4f Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle is the feature race on an excellent eight-race card from Fairyhouse on Sunday, including the Grade 1 2m Royal Bond Novice Hurdle and the Grade 1 2m4f Drinmore Novice Chase, which is covered by Racing Post tipster Dave Randall.
Given the glut of handicaps in racing these days, punters should always be keen to make the most of any opportunities to bet in Grade 1 contests, and at Fairyhouse on Sunday there are three chances to simply make a call on who is the best horse.
The first suggestion is An Tobar, representing Henry de Bromhead under Rachael Blackmore, in the Grade 1 2m Royal Bond Novice Hurdle. He ran out an easy 20-length winner of an Irish point on yielding to soft ground in January 2022 and the ground will likely be riding similar on this occasion.
The six-year-old was returning from a 646-day absence when running out an easy winner over this course-and-distance on heavy ground on his hurdling debut in November, and he has the most potential upside in this field as he encounters a slightly better surface once again.
The selection will need to improve on the bare form to defeat the biggest perceived dangers in Encanto Bruno and Farren Glory, but the strength in depth of his point form strongly hints that he is more than capable of doing just that.
Five horses are set to go to post for the Grade 1 2m4f Drinmore Novice Chase and Found A Fifty, representing Gordon Elliott under Jack Kennedy, makes plenty of appeal.
The six-year-old ran out an easy 15-length winner of his only Irish point on good to yielding ground in November 2021 and kept on strongly to win a maiden hurdle on this course by nearly 10 lengths on soft ground in January. The pick of his subsequent form over hurdles came the following month when beaten a head in a Naas Grade 2 novice contest.
The selection then returned from a break at Down Royal last month and made an easy winning debut over regulation fences, registering a really encouraging Racing Post Rating of 150 over just shy of this intermediate trip.
Elliott is 41-245 with his runners in non-handicap chases at Fairyhouse and it is a vote of confidence that he immediately steps Found A Fifty up to the highest grade over fences. A case can be made for the older horses Letsbeclearaboutit and Sharjah on their slightly stronger bare form, but Found A Fifty is considered capable of improving past them.
Finally, the ratings rightly have last year's winner Teahupoo as the horse to beat in the feature Grade 1 extended 2m4f Hatton's Grace Hurdle. He may have been slightly unfortunate not to win last season's Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham after all, but Impaire Et Passe, representing Willie Mullins under Paul Townend, is thought likely to improve enough to have his measure.
The selection ran out an impressive winner of the Grade 1 2m5f Ballymore Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham in March and followed up in Punchestown's Grade 1 Champion Novice Hurdle in April. The five-year-old is unbeaten in five starts and it will be disappointing if he doesn't enhance his growing reputation on Sunday afternoon.
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.