Elliott gathers Winter Festival battalion

Gordon Elliott is set to be well represented at Fairyhouse’s Bar One Winter Racing Festival – with Apple’s Jade, Samcro and Envoi Allen all likely to take part.

Elliott has started the season in good form and will take the wraps of star mare Apple’s Jade this weekend when she runs in the Lismullen Hurdle – which she will be bidding to win for a third successive time.

Should all go well there, Fairyhouse will beckon on December 1 – when Apple’s Jade will be seeking a fourth win in the Baroneracing.com Hatton’s Grace Hurdle.

“Apple’s Jade will run in the Lismullen Hurdle at Navan on Sunday,” said Elliott.

“After Navan, she’ll be back to Fairyhouse for the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle.”

There are 15 entries for the Hatton’s Grace – with Willie Mullins responsible for eight, including Klassical Dream and Benie Des Dieux.

There are three Grade Ones on the Fairyhouse card, and Elliott famously collected all of them in 2017 when Mengli Khan won the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle and Death Duty took the Drinmore Novice Chase.

The Cullentra handler appears to have a strong hand for the Drinmore this season, with a rejuvenated Samcro possibly joined by Battleoverdoyen and Champagne Classic.

“I was delighted with Samcro when he won over fences at Down Royal at the weekend, and Keith Donoghue was very impressed with him,” said Elliott.

“The Drinmore Novice Chase looks the obvious race to go for with him now, and of course the likes of Battleoverdoyen and Champagne Classic are very much in the mix as well. That day at Fairyhouse is one we always look forward to.”

There are 36 nominations for the Drinmore, with Mullins’ 2015 Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen also among them.

This year’s Royal Bond nominee from the Elliott yard is Champion Bumper winner Envoi Allen, who made a smooth winning debut over timber recently.

“Envoi Allen was very good when he won over hurdles at the weekend at Down Royal,” said Elliott.

“He has come out of that race well, and we are looking at the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse for him.

Envoi Allen is one of 40 in the Royal Bond, along with Noel Meade’s Sixshooter.

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