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Geraghty: Hatton's Grace will be like having the Champion Hurdle in December

Barry Geraghty believes the Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse on the first Sunday in December will be like getting a sneak peek at the Champion Hurdle in March.

The entries for the Bar One Winter Racing Festival at Fairyhouse, featuring three Grade 1s on December 2, were revealed on Wednesday afternoon and Apple's Jade, Faugheen, Laurina, Melon, Samcro and Supasundae were the major names among the 23-strong entry. 

"It will be like having the Champion Hurdle in December. The prize-money is huge and it certainly adds an incentive. It would be some race if those big names show up," said Geraghty, who attended the launch of the jump season in County Meath at Fairyhouse. 

Also in attendance was Gordon Elliott, who revealed a repeat bid for last year's winner Apple's Jade was on the cards, provided she comes through Sunday's Lismullen Hurdle at Navan unscathed. 

Elliott said: “The Hatton's Grace is the plan for Apple's Jade and she will start off at Navan on Sunday, if the ground is safe. You didn't see the best of her in the second half of last season as she kept coming in season, but we are hoping we have that problem rectified now."

Blow By Blow and Delta Work, winners at the Cheltenham Festival in March, are being lined up for a tilt at the Drinmore Novice Chase by Elliott.

The trainer said: "Delta Work and Blow By Blow would be my main ones for the Drinmore. Delta Work won at Down Royal but he will appreciate a bit further on softer ground. Blow By Blow wants 2m4f and will even get further. He seems in good form and the Drinmore is the plan."

There are 39 entries for the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle, including ante-post Supreme Novices' Hurdle favourite Annamix.

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