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Down Royal: Dunlop clears up any Confusion over the National

By Jimmy Walker

Organised Confusion, trained by Arthur Moore and owned by Killinchy business man Alan Dunlop, is an intended runner in the Grand National at Aintree next year.

This was confirmed at Down Royal yesterday by owner Alan Dunlop shortly after Dunlop had watched his brother Terry win the big steeplechase at the Maze course with Hidden Presence.

Alan Dunlop said: “We've had a great day here and hopefully the National will be on the cards for Organised Confusion, who won the Irish National last year.

Organised Confusion will run at Naas at the beginning of January and afterward at the Leopardstown Chase in February. Hopefully after that he will go on to run at Aintree. That's the plan at the moment.”

Meanwhile, Hidden Presence was winning for Saintfield trainer Barney Jones for the first time since scoring at Limerick four weeks ago.

Hidden Presence provided the first leg of a double for jockey Mark O'Hare who also scored with Lord Redsgirth in the Stallion Owners Maiden Hurdle.

With O'Hare winning two races, he has lost his allowance and his seven pounds claim and has now ridden 20 winners.

There was also a double for Lord Redsgirth’s trainer Gordon Elliott who followed up with Rocky Wednesday in the Sean Graham Maiden Hurdle.

Willie Mullins was thanking his lucky stars after Blackstairmountain capped a treble-topping day for the Co Carlow trainer by landing the feature race at Leopardstown. With a double at the Dublin track and a fortunate winner in the shape of Sir Des Champs at Limerick, Mullins had plenty to be pleased about.

Blackstairmountain looked destined for second spot in the Racing Post Novice Chase as David Pipe's British raider Notus De La Tour led over the final fence.

The race lost some of its gloss when Bog Warrior fell at the fourth fence when taking the field along, but the Grade One contest still proved to be a thriller.

Paul Townend brought Blackstairmountain (9-2) with a determined run to get up in the closing stages to score by two and a quarter lengths. Foildubh was two and a half lengths back in third.

The winner was cut to 12-1 from 16s by William Hill for the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival, while Stan James go 16-1 from 25s.

“We are getting our share of luck today after Sir Des Champs winning in Limerick after the leader ran out and with the favourite falling here,” said Mullins.

“This fellow (Blackstairmountain) has a lot of gears and Paul was delighted with what he produced after the last.

“Fences seem to be bringing out the best in him and he will probably come back here for the Arkle before going to Cheltenham in March.”

Mullins' other Leopardstown winner came courtesy of 11-10 favourite Midnight Game, who got the better of Joxer by half a length.

“The drier ground was a big help to him. I hope he improves from today,” said Mullins.

Jockey Davy Russell doubled up on the Gordon Elliott-trained His Excellency (8-1) in the United Arab Emirates Embassy Juvenile Hurdle.

Belfast Telegraph


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