Beach seeks Grade One Bond
Airlie Beach bids to maintain her unbeaten record in the Bar One Racing Royal Bond Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday.
Mullins: Trains Airlie Beach
Winner of her sole bumper start, the six-year-old took her 100 per cent record over hurdles to five when landing a Grade Three novice hurdle for mares at Down Royal.
"It's fantastic to have a horse good enough to be entered in a Grade One and she owes us nothing winning six races so far," said Steve Massey, spokesman for owners Supreme Racing.
"She will love the ground and we think she will run well.
"We were lucky to have the third with Zuzka in the Royal Bond (to Jezki in 2012). It's a cracking race and hopefully Airlie will give her owners another great day out – we are expecting a big turn out."
Her trainer Willie Mullins also runs Penhill and Saturnas as he bids to take the two-mile heat for the third year running and sixth time in all.
French import Saturnas won a 22-runner maiden hurdle at Naas three weeks ago on his first start for the Mullins team, while Penhill has won four of his five races since switching to hurdles, having been a useful Flat performer for Luca Cumani.
Le Martalin was an easy winner on his hurdling debut at Galway in October, only to run below expectations at Navan last month.
His trainer Noel Meade hopes this performance will reveal more about the five-year-old's ability.
"He disappointed us in Navan. We thought he might be better than that," said the County Meath handler.
"We're not sure whether he ran his race or not. Maybe it's a question he wants further than two miles, but we thought we'd let him take his chance and we can assess him better after this one."
Gordon Elliott relies on Labaik, who is two out of two, after taking Bilko out at the final declaration stage.
Two four-year-olds complete the seven-strong field – Henry de Bromhead's Peace News and the filly Forge Meadow from Jessica Harrington's stable.
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