Nichols Canyon and Apple's Jade headline Hatton's Grace Hurdle contenders at Fairyhouse

Willie Mullins is responsible for three of the seven remaining entries in the Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

Stayers' Hurdle hero Nichols Canyon, smart novice Cilaos Emery and the mare Augusta Kate could attempt to give the champion trainer a fourth win in the Grade One feature.

"Nichols Canyon is in the Hatton's Grace over two and a half miles," said assistant trainer Patrick Mullins. "He's a Stayers' Hurdle winner and we didn't go back to two miles because we don't want to be revving him up, as we are making a stayer out of him."

Last year's winner Apple's Jade - who is also in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday - could be joined by her Gordon Elliott-trained stablemate Mick Jazz.

Jessica Harrington's Coral Cup victor Supasundae and the Joe Murphy-trained Swamp Fox complete the septet.

The Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle sees plenty of tall reputations being put on the line.

Mullins has just the one possible in the shape of French import Makitorix, who made a winning start for the champion trainer at Listowel.

Mullins junior said: "It's the first real battle of the season. The phoney war is over and now everyone has to play their hand and see what they have. The Royal Bond is always very important.

"Makitorix was very impressive at Listowel, where he won by nearly 20 lengths. He'd be very exciting if he goes."

Noel Meade's Red Jack is unbeaten in three races under rules, while Elliott could run the exciting Mengli Khan, Hardline or Morgan, with the possibles also featuring the Joseph O'Brien pair of Early Doors and Le Richebourg.

The Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase should see Elliott's Death Duty back in action, but he might not have it all his own way with stablemate Dinaria Des Obeaux set to receive 15lb in age and sex allowances. Shattered Love and Tombstone are others for the yard.

Mullins is represented by Rathvinden and Townshend, with Noel Meade able to call on Snow Falcon and Mouse Morris leaving in Tout Est Permis.

More in this Section

Steve Hansen’s glittering reign as All Blacks coach to end after 2019 World Cup

Jonathan Agnew asks BBC colleague Gary Lineker to keep political views to himself

Giroud salvages draw for much-changed Chelsea in Hungary

Outgoing FA chief Martin Glenn proud of England successes and sees bright future


First he conquered Broadway, now The Boss takes on Netflix

There are a few things Daniel O'Donnell doesn't like and cars with CD players is one of them

Ask Audrey: The one thing that might impress a Cork woman is you not being septic even though you’re from Dublin

Learn a trick or two from Keith Barry on New Year's Eve

More From The Irish Examiner