Hide The Evidence for Irish hurdle test
Ulster-owned star hurdler Hide The Evidence will run in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown next month.
Owner Maynard Hamilton said at Down Royal yesterday: "I have spoken to trainer Jessica Harrington and this is the plan.
"I am very excited about the horse for he really showed his ability when winning the Royal Bond novices hurdle at Fairyhouse earlier this month."
Hide The Evidence began his winning streak by scoring at Downpatrick and has gradually moved into the ranks of Ireland's leading novices.
Whether or not he has been thrown in at the deep end in the Irish Champion Hurdle remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, at Down Royal yesterday it was a case of deja vu for jockey Dennis Hogan who scored on Jet Propelled in the Stallion Owners' maiden hurdle.
Jet Propelled is trained by Charlie Swan who wasn't at the meeting but Michael Carroll, the horse box driver, said: "Last year there was a bomb scare at the track on Boxing Day and the meeting was moved to the following afternoon.
"We had three runners that day and all of them won. Dennis rode all three of them and it's great to see him scoring again today."
Hogan said: "Christmas at Down Royal seems the place to be as far as I am concerned. I wasn't expecting as many winners as last year, but you can't have that sort of luck twice."
Jet Propelled won by ten lengths from Good Fella and was the first leg of a double for owner J P McManus who followed up later on the card with Vedelle who won a tight finish with Knockersally Flyer for trainer Joseph Crowley.
Damien Byrne, assistant to the trainer, said: "The further he goes the better he likes it and he will run again over a longer trip at the end of January."
Jockey Oliver Casey, son of trainer Peter Casey, has been in the wars recently and was injured at Ludlow on November 9th, when he suffered badly after a fall.
"My neck was put out of joint," he said. "And today is my first day back."
Casey was duly rewarded when Rince Donn won the opportunity handicap hurdle for trainer Tom McCourt.
"I can't remember the last time I won here," said McCourt.
Trainer Jim Dreaper is generally successful at the Down Royal Boxing Day meeting and he was on the mark again yesterday when Militant scored in the opening maiden hurdle. Militant just got up in a tight finish with Running Wild.
Militant runs in the colours of P J Conway from Magherafelt who was successful with top chaser Harcon as well as Jim in recent years.
Jockey J T McNamara produced a tremendous effort on General Striker to win the hunter chase by a neck from Agus A Vic.
General Striker appeared to have no chance when, in third place after the final fence, but with McNamara's urgings, General Striker just closed up near the finish to win by a neck.
General Striker is owned by Edinburgh businessman Robert Miller-Bakewell whose manager, Andrew Robson, said: "The best of this horse has yet to come."