Trainer Gordon Elliott turned out four winners at day two of the Winter Festival at Fairyhouse today where Apples Jade made it three in-a-row in the Hattons Grace.
Young Irish international rugby sensation Jordan Larmour joined racing’s greatest ever jumps jockey AP McCoy, Ryanair supremo Michael O’Leary, businessman JP McManus and former politician-turned-broadcaster Ivan Yates at Fairyhouse today.
The highlight of the Irish jump racing season so far had three of the best Grade 1 races on offer and the weekend attendance was up just over 11 percent on last year.
The Gordon Elliott-trained super mare Apples Jade won the highlight race of the day the Grade One BarOneRacing.com Hatton’s Grace Hurdle for the third time in-a-row with her regular jockey the young Kerry man Jack Kennedy on board for owner and Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary.
Elliot won four of the seven races today and also had a point-to-point winner in Longford.
The market spoke volumes in the first Grade 1 of the day at Fairyhouse - the Baroneracing.com Royal Bond Novice Hurdle - as the Willie Mullins-trained Quick Grabim was backed from a morning price of 2-1 into even-money favourite at the off and duly obliged in impressive fashion.
Ruby Walsh made every yard of the running on the six-year-old which stayed on strongly to beat Triplicate by three-and-three quarter lengths.
The second Grade 1 of the day the BarOne Racing.com Drinmore Chase was won again by Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary and his horse Delta Work again trained by local trainer Gordon Elliott and ridden by Davy Russell, who rode three winners today.
“This was arguably the best racing in the country on view so far this year and it was capped off with a super performance from Apples Jade which is trained just down the road from us by Gordon Elliott," said Fairyhouse manager Peter Roe.
"We were delighted with the huge attendance which was buoyed by a large contingent from Northern Ireland who came to see the best racing on view so far in Ireland this season.
"Our crowds and corporate sales were up on last year and our race sponsorships also increased with the likes of Bar One Racing sponsoring the entire second day of racing.
"We can’t wait now to look forward and start preparing for our racing now on New Years Day (Wednesday 1st January) and all our focus will also be on the Easter Festival which will feature Ireland’s favourite race the BoyleSports Irish Grand National.
"Our locals always enjoy the big days out here especially yesterday when we had huge interest in our Christmas Jumper competition which was something different to the traditional Best Dressed Lady competition,” he added.