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Vedette to grace Hatton

AS has been the norm in recent weeks, small but select fields will be the order for the weekend's Graded action, as Fairyhouse stage their Premier Weekend, which features a Grade One trilogy on Sunday.

After yesterday's final forfeit stage, just seven stood their ground in the Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle, while eight remained in both the Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle and the Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase.

Last year's winner Voler La Vedette, who was surprisingly overturned at short odds on her seasonal return at Navan, heads the market at 2/1 with Boylesports for a successful defence of the Hatton's Grace with the Willie Mullins-trained Thousand Stars a 5/2 chance.

Exciting novice hurdler and dual Grade One bumper winner Champagne Fever heads the seven for the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle.

Willie Mullins' impressive Cork maiden hurdle winner is joined in the race by his stable companions Midnight Oil and Zuzka, while the highly regarded Minsk, trained by Dessie Hughes, and Jessica Harrington's Jezki are also included.

Champagne Fever is the current even money favourite ahead of Minsk at 3/1.

Mullins is double-handed in the Drinmore Novice Chase at the moment, as the seemingly rejuvenated and unlucky Punchestown loser Mikael D'Haguenet could return to Grade One company, where Arvika Ligeonniere is also a possibility.

Henry de Bromhead's unbeaten Buckers Bridge will prove an interesting inclusion, while Pride Of The Artic may bid for his five-timer for Peter Fahey.

Last Sunday's Navan beginners' chase winner Sword Of Destiny was left in the race at the five-day stage but it is another Gigginstown-owned novice who heads the betting, as Dedigout is just 7/4 for Tony Martin after an impressive Punchestown victory.

An interesting runner on Saturday's card could be Tony Martin's Bog Warrior who, 12 months on from winning the Drinmore, holds an entry in the Ryan's Cleaning Services Handicap Hurdle where he is top weight as he reverts back from fences after a fall at Down Royal last time out.

Also on Saturday, the Willie Mullins-trained Boston Bob, who was cut from 8/1 into 7/1 for the RSA Chase with Paddy Power yesterday, is likely to make his chasing debut in the Nicky Connors Lifetime In Racing Beginners' Chase.

Trainer Shark Hanlon hopes Hidden Cyclone has the necessary improvement in him to take his game to the next level in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on December 27.

After making a winning return at Naas a month ago, he followed up with a comprehensive defeat of the talented Call The Police at Navan on Sunday and is now set for a step up to Grade One level. Hanlon said: "He's come out of the race super, he's as fresh as a daisy and all going well he'll go for the Lexus."


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