One of the biggest National Hunt meetings in Ireland will take place on Sunday afternoon as racegoers are treated to a trio of Grade 1 races, but the card has lost a huge shining beacon from it with the news breaking on Friday lunchtime that Annie Power would not take her place in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle. However, we will still be in for a real jumping treat with a plethora of class acts still strutting their stuff in the Emerald Isle.
Annie Power was set to go off a red-hot favourite for the Hatton's Grace Hurdle, but she was found to be lame and Willie Mullins has opted to bypass this contest and will now be left with the solitary runner in the shape of Zaidpour, who will now launch to the head of the betting.
A winner of the race two years ago, Zaidpour has often fallen in the shadow of such Mullins luminaries as the aforementioned Annie Power and Hurricane Fly, but he is a top class performer in his own right and he will have to beat the likes of progressive mare Little King Robin and Jetson, who was last seen downing Quevega in the World Series Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival.
Another notable Grade 1 event on the seven-race card is the Drinmore Novice Chase and the exciting The Tullow Tank will be a popular selection amongst punters as he aims to build on a fine chasing debut last time out and is already a leading fancy for the JLT Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
The six-year-old jumped with aplomb at Fairyhouse and will relish a return to the same venue, but the aforesaid Mullins will unleash an exciting talent in the shape of Valseur Lido, who also has the potential to reach the top, whilst the likes of Apache Stronghold and Real Steel are another brace of class acts.
The Tullow Tank was a winner on this card 12 months ago when winning the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle and this year all eyes will be on Allez Colombieres, who has been a real talking horse for the Mullins team and the French recruit is a shot-priced favourite to bag this prize.
He has not been seen on an Irish racecourse yet, but the word around is that he is destined for great things over obstacles and is already a leading fancy for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. Nevertheless, he will have some opposition in the shape of stablemate Nichols Canyon, whilst Dermot Weld's Tandem deserves respect in what should be a really informative renewal.