Cullybackey trainer Ian Ferguson had an unlucky time at Downpatrick with two of his horses beaten in photo-finishes.
One was Posh Bird, who was second to Honest Man from the Brian Hamilton stable but it should should make amends by winning the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle if Down Royal’s Boxing Day meeting goes ahead.
It is is subject to an inspection tomorrow morning with the track still covered in snow
Andrew Thorton, who rides most of Ferguson’s horses, will be in the saddle and Posh Bird should be worth a Christmas bet as he looked like getting up at Downpatrick after Honest Man had made all the running.
Most of the runners at the meeting are from the province and Armagh’s Jim Lambe will be worth having a look at, depending on what he runs.
Ring Street Roller goes in the Martinstown race while, later in the day, he has Kircassock Vic in the Hunter Chase.
Kircassock won at Downpatrick when just squeezing home and is sure to run another big race.
However, the one to be on in this race is Top Twig, trained by Fermanagh’s David Christie and rated arguably the best hunter chaser in Northern Ireland
Champion point-to-point jockey Derek O’Connor will be in the saddle and this one would have to go close to being the best bet of the holiday meeting.
Mervyn Torrens, who trains at Omagh, is hopeful that Hughies Grey, who has never been out of the first four, will win the INH Stallion Owners European Breeders Fund Maiden Hurdle.
Torrens has a big chance here and I give him the vote over Colin McBratney’s Silent Witness.
The bumper looks tailor-made for Larne’s Roy Wilson’s Yes Tom.