Morgiana Hurdle: Sharjah and Abacadabras in the top five at Punchestown Grade One on Sunday | Racing news

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Sharjah and Abacadabras lead a select field of five for Sunday’s Grade One Unibet Morgiana Hurdle in Punchestown.

The first heat is dominated by Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott, with the former fielding both Sharjah and Echoes In Rain, while his rival runs Abacadabras and Zanahiyr.

Sharjah took the Morgiana in 2018 and won the Matheson Hurdle in the first of his four runs last season, but then had to settle for third place behind Honeysuckle in the Irish Champion Hurdle, before finishing second in the supermarine at both Cheltenham and Punchestown.

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Abacadabras wins 2020 Morgiana Hurdle for owners Gigginstown House Stud and coach Gordon Elliott

Echoes In Rain made great strides last quarter and after scoring two grade two wins, triumphed at the highest level when she landed the Champion Novice Hurdle in Punchestown.

Zanahiyr was among the top youth hurdlers for Elliott last year and is already a winner this season after returning with an effortless win at Down Royal last month.

Zanahiyr beat an impressive WKD Hurdle a Down Royal winner last month
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Zanahiyr beat an impressive WKD Hurdle a Down Royal winner last month

Abacadabras won the Aintree Hurdle in April but only finished fourth behind Honeysuckle in Punchestown with over 10 lengths to be found with Sharjah.

Joseph O’Brien provides fifth contender to Darasso, who makes a quick comeback after winning the Lismullen Hurdle last Sunday.

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Vanillier (close) was beaten on his fencing debut last month

Vanillier, winner of the Albert Bartlett last year, leads the Liam & Valerie Brennan Florida Pearl Novice Chase.

He could only finish third in his first chase outing at Down Royal, but Gavin Cromwell takes him to Grade Two level for his second start.

Sixshooter impressed with a debut win for Noel Meade in Galway and is one of five opponents alongside Elliott’s duo of Fancy Foundations and Run Wild Fred, as well as Dewcup and Ballyshannon Rose.

Telmesomethinggirl and Gauloise duo of owner Kenny Alexander are among the top nine contending for the Frontline Security Grabel Mares Hurdle.

Cheltenham winner, Peter Fahey’s Heaven Help Us and Royal Kahala, are also featured on the heat Listed.

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