Two Ulster owners are within a heartbeat — or a hoofprint — of landing the jackpot at the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival which takes place in March.
Hurricane Fly, who has been installed the 5-2 favourite, runs in The Champion Hurdle — one of the two big prizes at the festival and after having won the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown last Sunday he looks set to give retired businessman George Creighton the thrill of a lifetime.
Creighton lives in the Stranmillis area of Belfast and Hurricane Fly runs in his colours.
The horse is partly owned by Rose Boyd who breeds horses at Radaemon, near Crossgar.
Rose is also a well known personality in the point to point world and is Master of Killultagh Harriers.
Rose has been a considerable time in the racing game and she and her husband Frank have owned some top class horses under the Killultagh banner and trained by Willie Mullins who also trains Hurricane Fly.
The most famous horse the Boyds owned was Killultagh Storm who won seven races and was unlucky not to win the BMW Chase at Punchestown a few years ago. Hurricane Fly was bought by Creighton and Mrs Boyd in France three years ago.
He had won in France earlier and, after leaving for Ireland, he won his first race for Creighton at Fairyhouse. Ruby Walsh rode him on that occasion.
“The acquisition of Hurricane Fly has meant a lot to me,” said Creighton. “I have had some Cheltenham horses but nothing of this class.” Creighton has had the horse for three years and during that time there have been many victories including The Hattons Grace at Fairyhouse and the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown.