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Fairyhouse

  • 13:25 Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle 2m

  • (Grade 2) €37,500 added 4yo 9 ran
  • Winner €24,374 2nd €7,126 3rd €3,374 4th €1,126
  • Going: Soft to Heavy
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 4m 6.00s
  • Off time: 13:25:17

Willie Mullins runs three in Saturday's Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle

Last Updated: 22/02/14 8:05am

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Willie Mullins: Has three contenders in the juvenile race

Willie Mullins: Has three contenders in the juvenile race

Adriana Des Mottes, Abbyssial and All Pepper form a formidable three-pronged attack for Willie Mullins in Saturday's Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

Adriana Des Mottes, Abbyssial and All Pepper form a formidable three-pronged attack for Willie Mullins in Saturday's Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

Adriana Des Mottes made a hugely impressive start to her Irish career when striking by 18 lengths at Punchestown on New Year's Eve, while Abbyssial, who carries the colours of the brilliant Florida Pearl, is two from two since joining Mullins.

French recruit All Pepper is an intriguing third challenger for the Closutton handler, having been strongly supported for the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in recent days.

Stable jockey Ruby Walsh takes the mount on Adriana Des Mottes, with Abbyssial and All Pepper ridden by Paul Townend and David Casey respectively.

"It's hard to know which would be the best. They are all impressive horses and each of them won on their last start," said Mullins.

"Certainly the mares' allowance must be a factor for Adriana Des Mottes and Ruby is riding her.

"There has been plenty of talk about All Pepper. He doesn't show me much at home, but looks as though he will be better on the racetrack.

"Abbyssial has been impressive both times he's won and deserves to take his chance as well.

"The conditions should be fine for the two Irish horses and I believe All Pepper won in heavy ground in France as well."

Mullins' trio feature in a field of 12 declared runners, with his brother, Tony Mullins, saddling Blue Hell.

The Barry Connell-owned youngster was beaten a nose by All Pepper at Nantes in October and also makes his Irish debut.

Mullins said: "He is having a run and with all the bad weather we've had, we're not really sure what we have.

"He is fit and well and we like what we've seen at home, but because of the weather he probably hasn't had the ideal preparation.

"We've given him an entry in the Fred Winter and we'll find out on Saturday whether he's a Fred Winter horse."

Trainer Ken Condon is also targeting the Fred Winter with Gerdago, who has won once and placed twice from four starts over hurdles.

The County Kildare handler feels his charge has plenty on his plate, but is keen to give him another run before the Festival.

Condon said: "On the Irish ratings it looks as though he's got quite a bit to do, but he needs to run somewhere.

"He's in the Fred Winter and that's the plan. He's rated 118 in Ireland, but the English handicapper rates him 130, so he'll definitely get in.

"In reality, he's probably somewhere in between, but we'll see how he goes this weekend."

Leading owner JP McManus is represented by the Aidan O'Brien-trained Plinth and Charles O'Brien's Henry Higgins.

Plinth was third in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown earlier this month, with Henry Higgins a well-beaten fifth in the same race.

McManus' racing manager, Frank Berry, said: "Plinth was well beaten the last day and we're hoping he can run a bit better on Saturday.

"It looks a very competitive race, but if he can jump a bit better hopefully he'll run well and we'll learn a lot more.

"Henry Higgins has a bit to find with the others in the race, but he's in good form and we'll let him take his chance."

Orgilgo Bay was last of six in the same Leopardstown Grade One earlier this month, but trainer John McConnell feels his charge is better than he showed that day.

He said: "We weren't too disappointed with his last run as we knew straight away after the race we'd gone too quick, but he's been fine since.

"It looks another hot race on Saturday, but we're hopeful he'll run a bit better than he did in Leopardstown.

"He's in the Fred Winter and the Triumph Hurdle and at the moment the Fred Winter would look the more likely, but that might change if he were to win on Saturday."

Gordon Elliott's Halling's Treasure has been placed on each of his three maiden hurdle starts.

The trainer said: "He's had some nice placed runs. The race has worked out stronger than we thought it would be. If we sneak a place and some prize-money we'll be happy."

Achtung, Bertimont and Elishpour complete the field.

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