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Fairyhouse afternoon racing tips: Best bets for Easter Saturday, March 30

The Irish Grand National Festival swings into action at Fairyhouse on Saturday, the first of three days of terrific jumps racing that culminates with the Irish National on Easter Monday.

Day one at the Co Meath venue includes a trio of Listed contests as they race from 14:10-17:40 on Saturday afternoon and Enda McElhinney has tips for all seven races.

Don't forget to check out the full racecard, results and live odds in Planet Sport's racing live centre.

Good luck and please gamble responsibly.

(Please be aware selections could become non-runners after article's first publication)


14:10 (Fairyhouse) Heroes Rise

An open start to the afternoon but one in which Gordon Elliott can make a bright beginning with Heroes Rise.

He won his point-to-point as recently as last month and the £85,000 purchase can make the transition to racing under Rules a smooth one.

Butcher Hollow has thrice gone close in this sphere already and must rate a danger with Paul Townend taking over in the saddle.


14:45 (Fairyhouse) Annamix

Ferns Lock was pulled up at the Cheltenham Festival just 15 days ago after having a tough race and this comes up soon enough for the David Christie inmate off the back of that.

Preference is edged, therefore, by Annamix for Willie and Patrick Mullins. He won this contest 12 months ago, with Ferns Lock only third, and returns after scoring at Gowran Park earlier this month.


15:20 (Fairyhouse) Western Zara

Both Instit and Harmonya Maker had tough races in the Mares' Chase at Cheltenham just over a fortnight ago.

They are the top duo on ratings but, in truth, their overall body of work this season is not completely convincing.

Western Zara gets a stone and more from the pair and while Paul Nolan's charge has plenty of stamina – course winner over 3m5f – she isn't slow by any means and this test should be fine.

First-time cheekpieces go on and she's got Conor Stone-Walsh claiming a handy 5lb, while she also goes well fresh.


15:55 (Fairyhouse) Klarc Kent

Amongst the day one prizes on offer is the Fred Kenny Memorial Ladies National Handicap Chase in which Klarc Kent won't need to be superhuman to win under Jody Townend for the champion trainer.

His first run over fences on New Year's Eve came in a race won by Monty's Star - seen to excellent effect at the Cheltenham Festival recently - and after a mishap in another good contest at Navan in January, last month's Punchestown third (2m7f, heavy) behind 142-rated Senior Chief was his best to date.

This slight drop in trip is no concern and the lightly-raced eight-year-old has been found a nice target.


16:30 (Fairyhouse) Native Speaker

Built By Ballymore was well touted for the Coral Cup at Cheltenham but ran disappointingly and has something to prove now.

Handicap debutant Olympic Man is respected for Mullins/Townend but Native Speaker has progressed in his three hurdles runs since November as his stamina has been teased out.

He was clear second at Thurles over this trip recently and off bottom-weight of 10st 3lb, can go well for Rachael Blackmore and Henry de Bromhead.


17:05 (Fairyhouse) Comfort Zone

The Listed RYBO Handicap Hurdle is a devilish puzzle, with Joseph O'Brien's returning Comfort Zone largely responsible for that status.

He won 3-4 over timber last season, two of them Grade 2 juvenile events, and was third behind Lossiemouth no less at this venue in his sole defeat.

He's only run once since January 2023 but was a good second in a €90k Leopardstown handicap on the Flat in September when he did.

A mark of 132 might be completely underestimating his ability and he should be ready to go.


17:40 (Fairyhouse) Magic McColgan

Flashaway made a good impression when scoring on debut at Gowran Park (2m1f, heavy) last month but she is overlooked now for this Listed Mares' bumper by Patrick Mullins, who instead throws the leg over on Magic McColgan.

She was turned over on debut at Limerick over Christmas but has since won this month at Leopardstown (2m, heavy), doing well in the circumstances to fend off promising Gordon Elliott newcomer Neon Diamond having been headed as the pair came clear.

She could be another promising mare for owner Kenny Alexander and can justify her riders' choice today.


Fairyhouse selections in full:

Fairyhouse: 14:10 Heroes Rise, 14:45 Annamix, 15:20 Western Zara, 15:55 Klarc Kent, 16:30 Native Speaker, 17:05 Comfort Zone, 17:40 Magic McColgan

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