Yorkhill the star of the Easter show at Fairyhouse
Yorkhill is the star attraction in a seven-runner field declared for the Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse tomorrow.
The Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old won at the Cheltenham Festival for a second successive year when he landed the JLT Novices' Chase and is an odds-on chance to claim further Grade One glory at home.
Gigginstown are three-handed in this €100,000 Grade One chase, represented by the Gordon Elliott-trained Ball D'Arc, Noel Meade's Cheltenham hero Road To Respect and Henry de Bromhead's Attribution.
De Bromhead also saddles Some Plan, while Tony Martin's Anibale Fly and Baily Cloud from Mouse Morris's yard complete the line-up.
Mullins has never won this race, even in the days when it was known as the Powers Gold Cup, the oldest racing sponsorship in Ireland. Yorkhill should redress that situation.
Ball D'Arc and Road To Respect are closest to him on ratings but the difference is 11lb and 9lb respectively.
Yet he came unstuck at Punchestown last season when jumping markedly to the left throughout and there just might be a kink in him somewhere. But he's rated just 4lb behind the Gold Cup winner and these shouldn't test him.
Mullins saddles four of the seven runners in the Grade One Mares' Novice Hurdle.
Heading the Closutton quartet is Let's Dance (Ruby Walsh), winner of the Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham.
She is joined by stablemates Airlie Beach, Augusta Kate and Good Thyne Tara, while Elliott runs the Gigginstown-owned pair Barra and Shattered Love.
British hopes are carried by Colin's Sister, who was supplemented by trainer Fergal O'Brien after winning her last four races.
Let's Dance dominates here, although not to the same extent as Yorkhill.
Unbeaten in her five races since being totally outpointed by Apple's Jade at Punchestown last April, she won her maiden at Sligo in May and didn't start at odds-against until beating Barra at Cheltenham.
That one reopposes again here but has over two-and-a-half lengths to find.
Tony Martin runs two in the opening 25-runner race with Davy Russell's mount Tudor City preferred over Royal Chorus (Denis O'Regan).
Tudor City has experience in handicap company and a repetition of either his two Leopardstown efforts this winter would suffice.
The novice handicap hurdle is intimidating, not only by the size of the field either.
Highland Fling might continue his progression and runs off a mark 5lb lower than his Aintree rating.
Dakota Moirette ran well enough in the Fred Winter and goes off a 6lb lower mark while the Thurles winner la Bella Vida will be of interest to some, as might be Babanango.
In the rated novice handicap chase Hurricane Ben and Prickly could reward a speculative interest and I'd rather be with Inis Meain and O'Regan than against them in the rated novice chase.
1.45 Tudor City
2.20 Dakota Moirette (Nap)
2.50 Lets Dance (Dbl)
3.25 Hurricane Ben
4.35 Inis Meain
5.10 Red Jack
1.45 Agent Boru
2.20 Bella Vida
4.00 Ball D'Arc
4.35 Call It Magic
5.10 Us And Them