Belfast Telegraph

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Big two set for Hatton's clash

Solwhit and Hurricane Fly feature among a final field of 11 runners in the Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Wednesday.

The duo were both declared for the Grade One contest when it was originally due to be run on November 28 and despite being rescheduled a number of times since due to the weather, they both stand their ground.

Solwhit showed his well being with victory in the Dobbins & Madigans at Punchestown Hurdle a month ago, while Hurricane Fly makes his first start since winning at the Punchestown Festival in April.

Hurricane Fly's trainer Willie Mullins also saddles Mourad, while Noel Meade is represented by Aitmatov and Donnas Palm. Other notable inclusions in a fascinating contest include Jumbo Rio, last year's winner Oscar Dan Dan and Colm Murphy's smart mare Voler La Vedette.

Although the race was originally scheduled to take place on November 28, Solwhit's trainer Charles Byrnes does not believe the extra time will have inconvenienced his charge.

Byrnes said: "We've been able to keep him ticking over, so hopefully that won't be a problem. We're glad to get the race on and he is ready to run again. You would hope that he'll be a fitter horse than he was at Punchestown last month.

"Hurricane Fly would look the main danger and they are obviously happy with him to be running him over two and a half miles. If we both run up to our best, it would look between the two of us, but you never know. If we don't run up to our best, the others will be snapping at our heels.

"We'll have to see how he gets on before planning his next race. Christmas is not far away now and I don't like looking too far ahead."

Tom Mullins is delighted with Oscar Dan Dan, but admits Hurricane Fly and Solwhit set the standard.

Mullins said: "We think he's 100% and he didn't miss any work really, so we're not too worried on that score. Hurricane Fly and Solwhit are the two obvious ones and we're just hoping that our fellow can put up a good show. If you're not in you can't win and we're limited to the places he can run."


From Belfast Telegraph