Ulster's Mister is all set to be National hero
The locally-trained Mister Philson can follow up his recent victory at Ayr by winning tomorrow's Toals Bookmakers Ulster Grand National at Downpatrick.
Claiming jockey Craig Nichol, who partnered Mister Philson to that win at Ayr earlier this month, travels across to renew the partnership and the combination can land the €25,000 feature of the Downpatrick racing season, Pineau De Re triumphant in last year's big showdown.
Mister Philson is trained near Larne by Stuart Crawford who claimed the St Patrick's Day feature chase at the Maze with Yes Tom, highlighting the fact that his team is in top form.
The young rider, who has ridden 18 winners this season including yesterday's Sedgefield success on Stanley Bridge, is based with trainer Lucinda Russell near Perth and will be having his first ever ride in Ireland and over the unique Downpatrick track.
Most importantly he will be able to claim 5lbs on the local horse who will relish the testing trip and conditions with the uphill finish.
Crawford also has Hidden Horizons engaged. Local handlers have an excellent record in the big race and are well represented in tomorrow's renewal.
Seriatim – trained at Loughbrickland by William Rankin and second to the Crawford-trained Man With Van over hurdles on his penultimate start – along with Crossgar-trained Butney Boy warrant consideration.
Butney was placed on his three most recent starts and trainer Colin McBratney only just beaten in the Cheltenham Festival Foxhunters with Carsonstown Boy.
Quiscover Fontaine, carrying the JP McManus colours and trained by Enda Bolger, has recently been contesting cross-country races but is saddled with top weight, eased by 7lbs with amateur rider Brian Linehan's claim.
Kylecrue, already a course winner, could be a major contender but has yet to win over this three and a half mile distance.
Jimmy The Hat, another Ayr winner last time, represents the in-form team of trainer Gordon Ellliott.
Andrew Lynch, successful on Chief Oscar in 2010, takes the mount on Cherryantor which holds strong each way claims following a win at Navan over three miles in similar conditions.
Taglietele – trained by Gordon Elliott and ridden by Paul Carberry – can win the opening maiden hurdle.
Carberry can double up in a tricky novice hurdle with Un Beau Martin. The top rated runner has excellent recent placed efforts.
Gold Not Silver, the mount of Davy Russell, can land the handicap hurdle
ULSTER GRAND NATIONAL: 1st Mister Philson 2nd Cherryantor 3rd Seriatim
TOMORROW'S DOWNPATRICK TIPS: 2.25 Taglietele 2.55 Un Beau Martin 3.25 Gold Not Silver 3.55 Mister Philson 4.25 Hidden Present 4.55 Linnel 5.25 Most Peculiar