The Fairyhouse festival kicks off today with a quality card in the build up to tomorrow’s Irish National.
The Easter Sunday festivities can prove fruitful for canny trainer Tony Martin who may not have to wait long for the Easter bunny to deliver with a pair of strong looking favourites in the two opening races.
Tudor City has come close in a couple of good handicaps and can break a run of seconds in the opener (1345 BST) under the always-excellent Davy Russell.
This horse may have proven hard to win with in stronger company, but dropped back in class here he can open his account. Main market rival Broken Soul might match the selection for talent, but is the definition of quirky and doesn’t look one to trust.
Martin may as well stay in the winner’s enclosure and wait to greet Ruby Walsh who will be riding his Artful Artist in the following handicap hurdle (1420).
This horse has won useful races on the flat at the Galway Festival, and was probably unlucky not to add a festival hurdle success in a similar handicap at Leopardstown over Christmas.
It looks significant that Martin has held the horse back since then for this target, and the sight of Ruby on top can only add confidence.
Whilst both Martin raiders are short enough in their own rights, the double pays a good looking 7/1, and can kick start the meeting in fine style.
Recommendation: Tudor City (1345 Fairyhouse) & Artful Artist (1420 Fairyhouse), win double, 7/1 Paddy Power
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