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Paul Nicholls in mood for Northern Ireland Festival of Racing

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Trainer Paul Nicholls with Kauto Star (right) and Denman at his stables at Ditcheat, near Wincanton

Trainer Paul Nicholls with Kauto Star (right) and Denman at his stables at Ditcheat, near Wincanton

Trainer Paul Nicholls with Kauto Star (right) and Denman at his stables at Ditcheat, near Wincanton

Top English trainer trainer Paul Nicholls will be double-handed in the Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal on November 5 and 6.

In addition to the big race, the JNwine.com Nicholson Champion Chase in which former Gold Cup winner Kauto Star is engaged, Nicholls will again, have an entry in the Ladbrokes Novice Chase which he has won for the past two years.

Nightingale, winner of the Pendil Novice Chase at Kempton, will be entered at the closing stage next Wednesday.

Nicholls was successful last year with Herecomesthetruth and in 2009 with Noland.

Willie Mullins who won the big race in 1999 with Florida Pearl intends to have runners but has not yet confirmed what they will be.

Meanwhile, Downpatrick’s 325th anniversary meeting next Saturday, has attracted a big entry from Benburb’s Jim Lambe who is hoping to win with Breeze With Ease who was successful at the last Downpatrick meeting.

“I hope to have a big representation for it is a special day,” said Lambe who has said that he is unlikely to race much more in England or Scotland as it has “become much too expensive.”

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This being the case, Lambe should have more runners in Ireland than recently.

And, indeed, he is involved at Fairyhouse today where the best bet looks like the Willie Mullins-trained Not For Converting, ridden by his son Paddy in the Winter Festival Hurdle.

In that race, Lambe runs Imperial Breeze while Larne’s Roy Wilson goes with Gemstone Star.

Lambe also has Skylancer in the Handicap Hurdle and Lady Rapid taking her chance in the Mares Beginners’ Chase.

Strabane’s Mervyn Torrens who has been in fine form also has several runners.

He bids for success with Cut N’Willin in the opening Maiden Hurdle and is hopeful of success with Macidoni in the Handicap Hurdle.

Finally, in the bumper, he has Moymore Lad in the line-up. However, the one to beat here is Willie Mullins’s-trained DesRes who was fourth on his debut.

At the Curragh tomorrow, Michael Halford’s Snaefell looks the part in the Jersey Racing Club Testimonial Stakes which is a listed race.


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