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Friday, 16 November, 2018

Trainers' title to heat up at Fairyhouse as big two go to war

Willie Mullins is looking for a few winners on the horizon this weekend, with Un De Sceaux his first runner in Britain this season
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Sunday could set the tone for the rest of the season in the Irish trainers' title race as there are three valuable Grade 1s at Fairyhouse and the two toughing it out at the top are set to bring out their big guns for the battle.

Gordon Elliott is more than €500,000 in front of Willie Mullins after his sensational six-timer at Navan on Sunday but he could struggle to maintain that lead as the defending champion is responsible for six of the ten possibles for the Hatton's Grace Hurdle, including the mighty Faugheen. 

Elliott has never won the Hatton's Grace Hurdle or the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle but he has landed the Drinmore Novice Chase three times and could run A Toi Phil, Diamond King, Lieutenant Colonel and Prince Of Scars. Mullins will not be represented at all. That could have a big bearing on the title race. 

The Royal Bond will be fascinating as Mullins could run the exciting pair Penhill and Saturnas as well as the unbeaten filly Airlie Beach against Elliott's Labaik and Bilko. 

Paddy Power make Mullins 2-5 to retain his title, with Elliott now a 7-4 chance to claim the crown for the first time.


Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle

Prize-money available: 1st - €50,150 2nd - €17,000.00 3rd - €8,500.00 4th - €4,250.00 5th - €2,550.00 6th - €1,700.00

Elliott past winners: None

Mullins past winners: Alexander Banquet (1998), Hurricane Fly (2008), Zaidpour (2010), Sous Les Cieux (2011), Nichols Canyon (2014), Long Dog (2015)

Elliott entries: Bilko, Labaik

Mullins entries: Penhill, Saturnas, Airlie Beach


Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle 

Prize-money available: 1st €59,000 2nd - €20,000.00 3rd - €10,000.00 4th - €5,000.00 5th - €3,000.00 6th - €2,000.00

Elliott past winners: None

Mullins past winners: Hurricane Fly (2010), Zaidpour (2012), Arctic Fire (2015)

Elliott entries: Dedigout, Apple's Jade 

Mullins entries: Clondaw Warrior, Faugheen, Nichols Canyon, Shaneshill, Vroum Vroum Mag, Whiteout


Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase 

Prize-money available: 1st €50,150 2nd - €17,000.00 3rd - €8,500.00 4th - €4,250.00 5th - €2,550.00 6th - €1,700.00

Elliott past winners: Jessies Dream (2010), Don Cossack (2013), No More Heroes (2015)

Mullins past winners: Alexander Banquet (1999), Arvika Ligeonniere (2012), Valseur Lido (2014)

Elliott entries: A Toi Phil, Diamond King, Lieutenant Colonel, Prince Of Scars 

Mullins entries: None

Elliott has never won the Hatton's Grace Hurdle or the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle but he has won the Drinmore Novice Chase three times
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