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Harry's stock on the rise at Down Royal


By Ron McKnight

Boxing Day racing at Down Royal is an established part of the festive season and historically locals register a winner or two.

Ballyclare trainer Harry Smyth was a successful stock car driver prior to turning his attentions to horse racing.

Despite the lack of a winner for four years, the veteran trainer has major claims with Zagnzig in the featured Adare Manor Hurdle following two recent solid efforts in better company. Urbanist could prove a bigger danger rather than Global Fert and Pound A Stroke - the pair winners on their latest starts.

Trainer, Jim Dreaper dominates the Hunterchase with both Sizing Coal and Venitein De Mai engaged while Limerick handler, Enda Bolger, who has previously targeted this race, has Gilgamboa included. This horse made an encouraging points debut earlier this month and is a previous Grade 1 winner for owner JP Mc Manus.

Jim Dreaper has booked Champion amateur rider Jamie Codd for the former locally trained Slemish in the Handicap Chase with Dorkas, The Informer and Moonlone Lane also having claims. The latter won the race last year and could collect again.

The opening Beginners Chase disappointingly has just four declared and is a match between Burgas and Sutton Manor with the latter taken to enhance trainer Gordon Elliott's strike rate at the Lisburn venue.

The Elliott trained Minellafordollars looks the likely favourite in the EBF Hurdle - however Derrinross with in form Luke Dempsey riding his father's runner can supply better value while Nick Lost and Frankiefiveangels warrant respect.

Gordon Elliott has possibilities of a hat trick with Stooshie in the Maiden Hurdle while Colwinston, if repeating decent efforts in the spring, would have place prospects for local handler, Suzy Barkley.

Brace Yourself was a good second in a Portrush point to point prior to his purchase by trainer Noel Meade for Belfast's Hunt family and is taken to claim the concluding bumper.

Dorydallis, fourth in a Fairyhouse bumper, represents the Elliott stable with Jamie Codd taking the mount while Banbridge trainer Gerry Cosgrave has produced several top class horses and introduces Boston Burglar while Joseph O'Brien supplies another notable debutante, Smoking Gun.

SELECTIONS: 12.10 Sutton Manor 12.40 Moonlone Lane 1.10 Gilgamboa 1.45 Derrinross 2.15 Stooshie 2.50 Zagnzig 3.25 Brace Yourself

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