Sunday 18 February 2018

Cheltenham faller Outlander set for Fairyhouse redemption

Outlander and Bryan Cooper. Photo: Sportsfile
Outlander and Bryan Cooper. Photo: Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Outlander could bid to atone for his fall at the Cheltenham Festival in Sunday's Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse.

The Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old appeared a major contender for the JLT Novices' Chase after winning his first three starts over fences and was still in with a shout when coming to grief four fences from the finish as stable companion Black Hercules went on to claim victory.

Outlander is one of five possible runners for the champion trainer in this weekend's two-and-a-half-mile Grade One, with Vedettariat, McKinley, Rolly Baby and the mare Uranna also in contention.

King's Odyssey is one of three English-trained entries, but is unlikely to make the journey, according to trainer Evan Williams, who said: "I haven't looked at the race as yet, but at the moment, I'd be inclined to leave it alone."

Kerry Lee's Kylemore Lough and the Venetia Williams-trained Otago Trail are the other possible raiders. Gordon Elliott has left in Arkle Trophy fourth The Game Changer, as well as Lord Scoundrel and Killer Crow.

Rule The World and Sizing Platinum also feature among 15 confirmations.

Peter Roe, manager of Fairyhouse, said, "We are delighted to start the Fairyhouse Easter Festival with such a competitive and quality day's racing featuring two Grade One races, the Ryanair Gold Cup and the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle, and the valuable Tattersalls Ireland Sales Bumper and it is great to see such a strong representation from British trainers.

"An added bonus is that Gordon Elliott will parade Don Cossack before the start of the Ryanair Gold Cup.

"The ground is currently yielding and the forecast is for some rain towards the end of the week but for a mainly dry day on Sunday."

Irish Independent

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