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Johnny Ward's Irish Angle: Wrong Direction heading the right way

By Johnny Ward
Sun 1 Dec 2019

This is one of the best weekends of the year in Ireland, with Sunday's action packed with quality from start to finish at Fairyhouse.

The weather has been pretty good in recent days and it will be soft ground or thereabouts at the County Meath track. There is no Benie Des Dieux, but more than enough class to compensate.

Johnny is the host of our new podcast, On The Wire, which focuses on Irish racing. Have a listen when it suits you.

Saturday also features the chasing debut of Carefully Selected... like the following tips.

Sunday selections:

12.30 Fairyhouse: Saint D'Oroux

Saint D'Oroux was sent off a shorter price than A Wave Of The Sea at Down Royal, yet is far bigger here and is getting 4lb. He flopped on that occasion but it seems highly significant that Gordon Elliott pitches him into graded company. He now has a tongue tie and is surely much better than that.

Watch how Envoi Allen won easily on his hurdling debut

1.00 Fairyhouse: Envoi Allen

Absolute banker material. He faces some smart sorts, including Abacadabras, his stablemate, but I expect this horse to go on to great things. He stays really well, but he probably has deceptive toe into the bargain. What I particularly love about him is that we do now know what is under the bonnet: note how he readily found more when challenged up the hill at Cheltenham in March.

2.05 Fairyhouse: Wrong Direction

Slightly out of the handicap, but that will do no harm to his chance. Has barely done any racing for his age and jumps really nicely, travelling like a horse that has a nice race in him. Look for four each-way places with selected firms.

2.40 Fairyhouse: Honeysuckle

An extraordinary mare, she has made giant strides, and what might she be over a fence? Apple's Jade has a big question-mark against her after Navan, and I expect the favourite to show her true class here.

Saturday selections:

12.25 Fairyhouse: Ask Heather

Seven winners from 50 Irish runners represents excellent going for young trainer Declan Queally. In Ask Heather, he has a mare who can win more races, and given her lack of experience hers was an excellent run at Naas last time. Back in mares' company here, her chance is helped by the 7lb allowance of Simon Torrens.

2.45 Fairyhouse: Jukebox Jive

One senses the handicapper was reluctant to take a chance on this horse, even if a rating of 124 for winning a minor race in Britain is hardly jumping off the page as being lenient. This horse's win in a big Flat handicap was noteworthy on his debut for Gavin Cromwell. His lack of experience is the main concern here but nothing else looks as well-treated.

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