Minella Melody can jump into the Festival picture

SWEET TUNE: Minella Melody is expected to come out on top in the Solerina Hurdle. Pic: Caroline Norris

Joe Fennessy

It's Trials day over at Cheltenham, but a few candidates for that Festival in March may be unearthed at Fairyhouse this afternoon.

The feature race on the card is the Grade Three Solerina Hurdle in which Willie Mullins has a typically strong hand, but it is the Henry de Bromhead-trained MINELLA MELODY (2.10, Fairyhouse) that is expected to come out on top.

You would have to imagine this race isn't far off an upgrade to Grade Two level judging by the past roll of honour which includes Grade One winners Limini, Shattered Love, Laurina and stable companion of the selection, Honeysuckle. And Minella Melody is building her way up the ranks nicely.

Carrying the same colours as Honeysuckle, the six-year-old beat subsequent winner Ard Abhainn to win a mares' listed hurdle at Punchestown and is preferred over the Mullins duo of Yukon Lil and Colreevy.

Mullins and Paul Townend may well start the day on a winning note as ALLAHO (12.25, Fairyhouse) attempts to open his account over fences in the Book Your Easter Festival Tickets Online @fairyhouse.ie Beginners Chase.

Placed in a couple of Grade One's behind Minella Indo last season, Allaho had to settle for minor honours at Leopardstown over Christmas but should be up to account for this field of rivals today.

JON SNOW (2.45, Fairyhouse) is another expected to improve enough from his last run to score in the maiden hurdle.

HALSAFARI (1.00, Fairyhouse) can get back to winning ways with a drop in class and PERSIAN WIND (1.35, Fairyhouse) may be rewarded for knocking on the door of late.


12.25 Allaho

1.00 Halsafari

1.35 Persian Wind

2.10 Minella Melody

2.45 Jon Snow

3.20 Golden Nomad

3.55 Highest Benefit