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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Elliott hopeful Mitchouka can enhance impressive Fairyhouse record

Mitchouka: was badly hampered at Cheltenham and looks to make amends at Fairyhouse
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3.10 Fairyhouse
BoyleSports Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) | 4yo| 2m | RTE2/ATR

Mitchouka, a three-time winner over course and distance, will be bidding for a fifth win over hurdles in this Grade 2 event with Davy Russell, who has ridden him to all his victories, again on board.

Gordon Elliott sent Mitchouka to Cheltenham for the Fred Winter Hurdle but the son of Creachadoir enjoyed no luck in running.

Elliott said: "He was very badly hampered at the third hurdle. That more or less put paid to his chance and he was eventually pulled up.

"He's been fine since and we know he loves Fairyhouse. He has a 3lb penalty for winning a Grade 3 at the course in February but we're looking forward to a good run."

Saldier: finished fifth in the Triumph on his second start over hurdles
Predictably, Willie Mullins provides the main opposition to Mitchouka. The champion trainer is represented by Saglawy, the mount of Paul Townend, Saldier (David Mullins), Msassa (Noel Fehily) and Eoline Jolie (Rachael Blackmore).

Mullins said: "Saldier ran at Cheltenham, finishing fifth in the Triumph after making a couple of mistakes. It was only his second start over hurdles and if the experience has brought him on he should have every chance. He handles testing ground.

"Saglawy won his maiden by 15 lengths at Gowran while Msassa won at Wexford last month on his first start for us. Both of them are in good order for this step up in grade while Eoline Jolie won at Auteuil in October on her only start in France and is having her first run for us."

Grey Waters, a dual winner early in the season, represents Joseph O'Brien who said: "She's a tough filly and while she was possibly a bit lucky to finish third in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown, she's well and entitled to take her chance."

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He has a 3lb penalty for winning a Grade 3 at the course in February but we're looking forward to a good run
E.W. Terms
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