Alan Magee

Alan Magee

Mullins holds strong hand in Solerina

Sat 25th Jan 2020, 08:46

Dolcita (Paul Townend) winning in impressive fashion at Tramore last month
© Photo Healy Racing

The Grade 3 Eco Friendly Cups Solerina Mares Novice Hurdle is the feature at Fairyhouse this afternoon and the 2m2f event should prove highly informative with a strong seven-runner cast.

Willie Mullins has won this in recent years with the likes of Laurina and Limini, who both went on to score at the Cheltenham Festival, and the champion trainer is again strongly represented.

Paul Townend partners Naas maiden winner Yukon Lil, while the Closutton team also includes Grade 1 bumper winner Colreevy and impressive Tramore winner Dolcita.

Honeysuckle took the ‘Solerina’ in great style 12 months ago, and the same connections of Henry de Bromhead, Rachael Blackmore and owner Kenny Alexander now rely on the hat-trick seeking Minella Melody.

Recent Punchestown winner Darrens Hope, the Joseph O’Brien-trained Global Equity and exciting French import Gin On Lime complete a stellar line-up.

Mullins and Townend should get the day off to a good start with Allaho in the 2m5f beginners chase.

The Cheveley Park Stud-owned gelding was a classy novice hurdler last term beating Minella Indo in a Grade 3 at Clonmel and filled the runner-up spot on his chasing debut at Leopardstown over Christmas.

Cheltenham Festival winner Early Doors is an interesting rival while Walk Away, second to Faugheen at Punchestown in November, and Advantage Point add further spice.

Santa Rossa won the Grade 2 Mares Bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival in Leopardstown last year and her jumping debut is eagerly awaited in the two-mile maiden hurdle.

THE IRISH TIMES