Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Polly’s full of Grand hopes

Downpatrick builder Brian Polly intends having a runner in the Aintree Grand National — almost at the last minute.

Polly said: “Offshore Account is engaged in the Tote Gold Trophy as well as the National. He is well treated with 10st 5lbs in the big race and after having had a chat with trainer Charlie Swan, I have decided that’s where he will go.

“It’s good for the people of the town for there are a lot of punters in the area and having a local horse will mean a lot to them.”

If Offshore Account (pictured above, left) was to run in the other race, he would meet Denman and Polly naturally, is not keen on that. He said: “I think the big handicap would suit him better and that’s why we will go for the National.

“He returned from a long lay-off to run at Navan two weeks ago in which he was second and Charlie was delighted with him,” Polly added.

“The horse had a tendon in

jury on his off-fore which kept him on the sidelines for 15 months. Hopefully, he will make a major comeback.”

At his best, Offshore Account was a decent novice chaser and was successful in the Champion Novice at Punchestown two years ago. He obviously has a racing weight in the National and has the class to win.

Polly confirmed that the horse has been schooled over National type fences at Swan’s stable in Tipperary.

“I will go over on Monday to walk the Aintree course and make the final decision then,” he said.

Polly has been a highly successful owner for many years and his horses generally win in the big league. It could be that Offshore Account will give the Downpatrick man plenty to cheer about for this will be his first runner in the National and it’s all to play for.

Meanwhile, Downpatrick stages its spring meeting tomorrow and the man to follow is Ruby Walsh — as usual.

Walsh rides for Willie Mullins in the Toals Bet On Goals Galore Hurdle. Borrowaddy is his mount and he carries top weight.

Walsh has a marvellous record here and his only recent mistake was choosing Selection Box instead of Ballytrim in the Ulster National.

Ballytrim won and Selection Box fell. But these things happen and Walsh will be keen to get back among the winners.

The Toals Dial A Bet Novice Handicap Hurdle will see the ubiquitous Oliver Brady — “Up Monaghan” — back again. He has a runner in Garamor Boy and it could be a winner.

Brady was dreadfully unlucky at Cheltenham in the Triumph Hurdle but he is not one to sit and lick his wounds. He will be bouncing back and there is every indication that Garamor will go close.

Mighty Massini trained by Colin McBratney will receive the Walsh treatment in the Visit Toals.co.uk Handicap Hurdle and would have to have a chance while in the Toals Bet On Irish Lotto Handicap Chase, Giuliani trained by Ian Ferguson should go close.

Nina Carberry can take the Hunters’ Chase on Noel Meade’s Brynner while in the bumper, Patrick Mullins looks to have the bet of the day on his father Willie’s Compelled.

In addition tomorrow, the Leopardstown spring meeting takes place, the highlight being the 2000 Guinneas Trail Stake.

The one to watch is Jim Bolger’s Intense Focus who won the Dewhurst at Newmarket last October. That is the third year in a row in which Bolger bids to win this Trail, having won it with Teofilio and New Approach.

Aidan O’Brien is well represented by Born To Be King, Hail Caesar and Liebermann.

It looks an interesting race but Intense Focus should win with a bit of style.