Fairyhouse Flyers – Mullins Runs Quintet on Wednesday
Dolcita (12.45 Fairyhouse)
It has now been over two years since DOLCITA won, but she has had a nomadic existence in that time.
Having joined Mullins from France for the 2019/20 season, she began life in Ireland promisingly, winning on her debut and concluding her season by finishing second in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
However, Sullivan Bloodstock initially chose to move their horses from Mullins’ yard at the start of 2020/21, at which point Dolcita, along with many others joined Paul Nicholls. Yet, after just one start and defeat for the Ditcheat-based trainer, she was on the move again, joining Fergal O’Brien.
She was third at Listed level for him before going full circle and rejoining Mullins. Sent over fences, she was fifth to talented stablemate Concertista and second to Jeremys Flame. That suggests she is progressing over larger obstacles and despite her travels, she is still only seven and may well have her best days ahead.
Recite A Prayer (1.15 Fairyhouse)
Handicaps are not often Mullins’ strong point and it is a pointer to the quality of horse he sends out that he has had 75 more runners in Graded company in Ireland this season than in handicap company.
Nevertheless, RECITE A PRAYER looks to be off an unusually low mark for a Closutton horse. He has not been an easy one to place in terms of distance, running very well in a maiden hurdle over three miles, but pulling up over that trip most recently.
That latest disappointing effort was on his handicap debut, but he had won on his previous start at Tramore over 2m5f, which he competes over here. A mark of 121 is a promising one and it would be far from a surprise were he capable of winning.
Tempo Chapter Two (2.15 Fairyhouse)
The sheer volume of top novice hurdlers Mullins produces year on year will always ensure there are a few who take more of a back number.
That said, TEMPO CHAPTER TWO is also an example of the great improvement the Closutton master can get out of his horses. After four winless efforts for Adrian Murray, he was beaten a head on his debut for Mullins, then won at Tramore on his second start.
Both of those came in bumpers and the two novice hurdles he has contested have been won by decent horses in the shapes of Indigo Breeze and El Fabiolo, the latter a dark horse in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle market. Tempo Chapter Two was second to him and looks capable of going on any surface. This rated novice hurdle is a competitive one, but of a level this six-year-old is capable of winning at.
Heia (3.15 Fairyhouse)
Owned by Kenneth Alexander, the man lucky enough to own Honeysuckle, HEIA was introduced to National HUnt racing when winning a bumper in France in the summer of 2020.
It took the best part of 18 months for her to meet a racecourse thereafter, but she made her hurdles bow in a very competitive four-year-old maiden at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting. Her fourth-placed finish was that of a tired horse and Mullins is dropping her back in trip here.
Given she won her bumper over only 1m4f, it is intriguing that she ran over 2m4f on her hurdles debut. For now, this two-mile distance seems far more sensible. She will have to contend with an 8lb penalty against her fellow mares for having won that bumper in France, but that would suggest she has fair ability and would be up to winning a race of this nature.
Gjoumi (3.45 Fairyhouse)
Another who suffers from an 8lb penalty for bumper success in France, GJOUMI did so before joining Mullins in 2019.
Her debut looks excellent in hindsight where she finished fourth in a Grade 3 to subsequent Triumph Hurdle heroine Burning Victory. The fact she could cope with that level so early in her career looked very exciting, but she has not been the luckiest since.
She fell at the last on her next start when still in with a chance at Thurles last season, then could only finish third to Gentlemansgame at Cork. She reappeared for this season at Limerick in December 2021 but was brought down when beaten.
Heavy ground coincided with her last two starts and she looked to be bogged down in those conditions. Soft ground may be manageable for her though and she is surely a winner in waiting.