Timeform pick out the three best bets at Fairyhouse on Sunday.
"...potentially well handicapped, represents an in-form yard and has the assistance of Rachael Blackmore in the saddle..."
Timeform on Epson du Houx
Royal Illusion showed her quality when bolting up by eight and a half lengths in the 2019 Irish Cesarewitch, and she has taken well to hurdling, getting off the mark at the second time of asking at Leopardstown last month. That was an easy success, leading before the second last and quickly drawing clear to win by five and a half lengths with plenty in hand. She is well worth a crack at this level, representing the Willie Mullins yard which has won four of the seven renewals of this race since it was promoted to Grade 1 status in 2013.
Gentlemansgame bolted up by 21 lengths on his hurdling debut at Cork in January and built on that when filling the runner-up spot behind Gaillard du Mesnil in a Grade 1 at the Dublin Racing Festival. That is the best piece of form on offer - the time was good and the winner ran a solid race when runner-up in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival - and Gentlemansgame remains open to plenty of improvement after only two starts under Rules. He can take advantage of this slight drop in grade.
Epson du Houx has taken well to chasing and would have posted a big career-best effort in a Grade 3 at Navan last month had he not fallen in unfortunate circumstances after the second-last. Epson du Houx jumped the fence fine but stumbled shortly afterwards and came down. His measure had just been taken but he would have been a clearcut second, and the eventual winner, Scarlet and Dove, has since boosted the form by landing a Grade 2 in style at Limerick. Epson du Houx is potentially well handicapped, represents an in-form yard and has the assistance of Rachael Blackmore in the saddle, so there is plenty in his favour.
ECHOES IN RAIN - 14:50 Fairyhouse
6 - Willie Mullins' number of winners in past 10 runnings
21% - Willie Mullins' strike rate at Fairyhouse since the start of the 2015/16 season
28% - Willie Mullins' strike rate with hurdlers at up to 2m2f
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