Selection Box a Christmas cracker
Crossgar trainer Colin McBratney bagged a nice little Christmas bonus with Selection Box who racked up his sixth career win by coming with a late run to land the spoils at Downpatrick yesterday.
McBratney confirmed that Selection Box will be trained for the Ulster National over the same course in March.
“The Ulster National is the long-term plan,” said McBratney.
“It's very important that he has to go right-handed and, while we'll see what the handicapper does now, we'll probably find a race in the middle of January next.”
Selection Box, owned by a syndicate which includes Irish international bowler Robin Horner, was always in touch yesterday and as soon as the last hurdle was reached he made a big effort and came up the hill to beat off the challenge of Liszt, the early front runner.
Selection Box wasn't the only stunning winner on the day, Felix Yonger — ridden by Ruby Walsh — opening the meeting in style by taking the first maiden hurdle.
Walsh was expected to make it a double on Tawaagg in the second race but Springfield Way triumphed in a hectic finish from Psycho.
Jockey Paul Carberry usually gets a few winners at Downpatrick and he produced a tremendous effort when landing a double yesterday.
The first was Mae's Choice, trained by Gordon Elliott, who was also responsible for Carberry's second winner Al Dafa.
This was Carberry's best performance of the day for Al Dafa appeared to have no chance before getting up in the final strides to win.
Jockey Kirsty Milczarek, partner of former champion jockey Kieren Fallon, has appealed against the two-year disqualification handed to her last week following a British Horseracing Authority disciplinary hearing into alleged corruption, the BHA confirmed yesterday.
Former registered owners Maurice Sines and James Crickmore have submitted appeals following the disciplinary panel's decision to disqualify them from racing for 14 years.
Unlicensed individuals Peter and Nick Gold have appealed against the penalties handed to them by the disciplinary panel, which were five and seven years respectively.