Top Twig looks like being top dog when running in the Cermax Hunter Chase at Down Royal Holiday meeting today (first race 2.20 pm).
Trained by David Christie, Top Twig is in good form for he won the Open race at Maralin point-to-point on Saturday. Among the opposition is Royal Ranger who is also trained by Christie and at his best would take all the beating. In addition Westmeath Bachelor trained by Cecil Ross must come into the reckoning along with Leaders Mate who is trained by George Stewart and will be ridden by Mark O'Hare.
Downpatrick trainer Brian Hamilton very rarely misses an opportunity to score at Down Royal. Johnnyofcourse runs in the Mirror Maiden Hurdle having finished second at the course on St Patrick’s day and then taking third place at Ballinrobe.
Winner of the race at Down Royal was Dundrum who beat Johnnyofcourse by a length and a half. Hamilton will be hopeful of Honest Man in the Opening O'Hare Bookmakers Handicap Hurdle. Honest Man is a genuine performer who has been a bit unlucky.
The bet of the night should lie with Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh who combine with Persian City in the McConville Construction Hurdle. These pair are in tremendous form and its hard to oppose anything they run.
Ramsden Boy ran a cracker when second to Casey Supreme on St Patricks Day here and must be followed in the beginners chase. Trainer Roy Wilson is just recovering from an illness and a win from Ramsden Boy would boost him at an appropriate time.
The feature race tonight is the Daily Mirror Handicap chase in which the selection is; Garryowen Star, trained by Charlie Swan who was also successful with One Cool Cookie in the Guinness Chase on St Patricks Day here.
Meanwhile, trainer Jim Lambe has had 26 winners during the just ended National Hunt season and he is hopeful of sending out a successful runner from his new stable at Maralin which means he will move eventually from Dungannon were he is currently placed.
Mervyn Torrens, who trains at Omagh, looked to have a useful sort in Song of Pride who was fifth here on St Patricks Day. Song of Pride finished behind Johnnyofcourse and it does not look as though the placing will be reversed.
Selections: 2. 20pm Honest Man; 2.50: Johnnyofcourse; 3. 20 Persian City; 3.50: Garry Owen Star; 4.20: Ramsden Boy; 4.50 Top Twig; 5.2: Prime Vista.