Willie Mullins decides it's all White on night at Down Royal
Down Royal will be buzzing with anticipation tonight as the track stages its final flat fixture of the season with the Ulster Cesarewitch as the feature race - then it will be full steam ahead to the big two-day Festival of Racing over the hurdles on October 30 and 31.
The Cesarewitch was run at Downpatrick in past years prior to that track focusing on jump racing and has attracted a competitive field.
Champion jumps trainer Willie Mullins has opted to run Whiteout rather than high class hurdler A Thousand Stars in the flat marathon. The ex-French trained filly has been running over hurdles successfully for Mullins and could be nicely rated in the two and a quarter miles event, having won over almost two miles in France.
Trainer Tony Martin is doubly represented with Spacious Sky and Encrypted Message, both holding claims and the latter appearing the stable's number one. However top weight Grecian Tiger, trained by Dermot Weld, and runner-up in a good Curragh contest, along with Asian Wings, appear the main dangers with the last named an Ayr winner last time out.
Armagh trainer James Lambe has Hunting Tower engaged but Black Spot On, trained by John Woods, could gain a place for local connections.
Anania finished third over the course and distance in June and was runner-up last time but Go Kart gets the vote in the opening two year old Maiden following a third place behind the useful Moral High Ground at Navan and holds Kotonic on prior form.
It's notable Pat Smullen partners Up Up And Away on her debut for Willie McCreery.
Kabaw gets the vote in the EBF Maiden. The Ken Condon trained runner finished fourth in the Navan race, won by Moral High Ground, but tonight's seven furlongs should suit better. The Chazz filled seventh on her debut in the Navan contest for Tyrone trainer Andy Oliver and again should be capable of improvement while Zeb's Fantasy and Ms Brinkleys have solid efforts to their credit and Clear Spirit - fourth on her Sligo debut - represents Dromore handler Sarah Dawson.
The two year old Nursery race produces an ultra complex contest with the majority warranting consideration. Nice And Dandy, Angelic Demon and Hot To The Touch are the preferred trio.
The first named carries top weight but trainer Pat Deegan avails of his apprentice rider's 10lbs claim and the selection is another taking a trip in excess of previous efforts.
Ava, Texas Rock, Charms Bracelet and Varrane make their handicap debut and look likely improvers. The Godolphin owned Griko, trained by Dermot Weld, can open his account in the seven furlong Maiden if accounting for Street Taipan.
Bush Baby, Athassel, Artistic Integrity, Ripped and Easy Boy form the short list in a very competitive seven furlong handicap with the last named offering each way value.
Brokopondo, runner-up at Galway on Monday to the locally trained Shamar, can provide the best value in the Apprentice handicap with Lady Marmelo, Mallory Heights and Mountain Kingdom holding similar claims.
Selections: 4.00 Go Kart; 4.35 Kabaw; 5.05 Nice And Dandy; 5.35 Griko; 6.05 Easy Boy; 6.35 Brokopondo; 7.05 Whiteout.