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Down Royal: Swan’s Zara set to take flight in Plate

By Jimmy Walker

Trainer Charlie Swan has a fine record at Down Royal and he should be on the mark again in Her Majesty's Plate, tonight’s feature race.

The likely winner is Zaralabad, who was the winner of the Premier Handicap at Killarney two weeks ago.

That form, in which Zaralabad beat some fancied Aidan O'Brien horses, should stand up well at Down Royal.

There is a small field for Her Majesty's Plate and one of the main dangers to Zaralabad is Solo Performer, ridden by Pat Smullen.

In addition Benburb trainer Jim Lambe runs the fancied Vivaldi with Chris Hayes — who was on the mark at the previous Down Royal meeting with a double — on board.

Northgate is another one to look at, but it seems as though Swan will win this race comfortably with Zaralabad.

The Ulster Cesarewitch Handicap is also on the card and here Joanna Morgan may score with A Hit Is A Hit, a winner last time out.

A Hit Is A Hit will be ridden by Smullen and is given a confidence vote to beat Golan Guy, trained by Tony Martin.

Caledon trainer Andy Oliver should win the Minco Handicap with Just On Fire.

Oliver's horses are in good form and Just On Fire is sure to go well.

Smullen, meanwhile, may have a treble at the meeting for I fancy him on the opener on Temuco, trained by Dermot Weld.

Meanwhile Maynooth trainer Ken Condon had a double — Smoky Cloud and Curl Cat — at Laytown’s annual meeting on the beach last night.

Jockey Danny Mullins capped an eventful few hours by riding Smoky Cloud to victory in the opener.

Having locked himself out of his own house, Mullins decided to break in, only for his neighbours to raise the alarm and call the Gardai.

Thankfully for Mullins, his fellow jockey and chauffeur Paul Townend came to his rescue before the pair made their way to the unique fixture.

“He got locked out of his house and was trying to get in through the window,” said Townend.

“His neighbours saw him and got concerned so called the Gards. Luckily I was able to smooth things over.”

Mullins subsequently steered Smoky Cloud to a 7-1 success in the Balmarino Handicap.

TONIGHT’S DOWN ROYAL TIPS: 4.15 Temuco, 4.45 Sleepytimegirl, 5.20 Mount Meru, 5.50 Just On Fire, 6.20 Zaralabad, 6.50 Sun Disc, 7.20 A Hit Is A Hit.

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