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Down Royal: Vic’s absolutely Grand

Grand National hopeful Vic Venturi was yesterday among the 25 entered for Down Royal's St Patrick's Day feature.



Vic Venturi, winner of the 2009 Totesport.com Becher Chase at Aintree, could face another National fancy in One Cool Cookie as well as 2009 Ladbrokes.com Munster National hero Treacle in the 3m2f event on March 17.

Both Vic Venturi and One Cool Cookie are as big as 40-1 for the Aintree showpiece — won last year by Ulsterman Tony McCoy on Don’t Push It — on April 9.

Ballyholland, trained by Crossgar’s Colm McBratney, is on course for the Topham Chase at Aintree next month following a pleasing comeback run at Naas on Wednesday.

The 2009 Galway Plate winner was fourth behind Canaly in a two-mile-three-furlong encounter over hurdles — his first outing since he was pulled up in the Grand National last April.

After briefly threatening early in the straight, Ballyholland stuck on steadily for jockey Andrew McNamara.

McBratney said: “Andrew was delighted with him and if he hadn't missed the third-last flight, he may have been closer.

“The ground was dead enough for him, but he is well on target for the Topham Chase at Aintree next month.”

Voler La Vedette is to end her racing career this season and be retired to the paddocks, Wexford trainer Colm Murphy yesterday revealed.

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