The Irish Angle: Johnny Ward's top tips for Fairyhouse

By Johnny Ward
Fri 14 Jan 2022

It's been a quiet week in Ireland, with four days of no racing at all.

Concerns about small fields in Britain are valid, especially on the all-weather in recent days, and unless racing’s funding can become more attractive for owners, these issues will remain.

There are no concerns on the field-size score at Fairyhouse on Saturday. Here are three very interesting horses for the day ahead.

1.57 Fairyhouse: Secret She Keeps

Howyabud dominated from the front at Leopardstown on a day when front-runners were perhaps favoured, with hot favourite Horantzau D’airy second and Secret She Keeps hammering everything else. Facing the geldings, this was a cracking start from the Henry de Bromhead runner, with the promising Happy Du Mesnil well-held in fifth. Any progress at all and she can win this. Concerns about the yard form seem exaggerated.

3.08 Fairyhouse: Autumn Crusade

The bet of the day but keep an eye out for better each-way terms than those consistent with a 15-runner handicap.

This horse is eight but he's had very little racing and I loved his Down Royal run over Christmas. He started off handy but was too slow to keep his pitch and, off the bridle the guts of a mile out, he showed a terrific attitude. While the race lacked depth, the first three were a long way clear, and he’s surely crying out for this step up in distance.

If Brandy Harbour reverts seamlessly to hurdling, then he should win but he can be a brilliant jumper of fences and I’m far from convinced this will work out for him.

3.42 Fairyhouse: Arctic Ambition

The favourite reverts from chasing but Arctic Ambition has nothing to prove on that score. His recent Tramore performances, including when winning last time out, indicate he is improving and his trainer has been in sensational form. With a generous pace all but assured for this strong mover, he should win again.

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