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Sizing perfect fit for Down Royal Summer Festival

By Ron McKnight

Sizing Solution can solve the feature - the Tote Galway Plate Trial - on the opening night of the eagerly anticipated Down Royal Summer Festival.

The Festival's showpiece race is tomorrow's Magners Ulster Derby - worth £100,000, making it Ulster's richest Flat race - which will be broadcast live on BBC NI, along with two other contests.

Trainer Jim Dreaper's runners have been in excellent form of late and he has engaged novice Sizing Solution, which won at the course in October last year.

Mr Fiftyone and Mister Hotelier warrant consideration on recent form however in a very competitive renewal Sizing Solution just gets preference over Rathlin, with Bryan Cooper aboard.

Marito, trained at Crossgar by Colin McBratney, tops the weights after finishing runner-up at the track last month to Make A Track and the local handler, having claimed the Galway Plate in 2009 with Ballyholland, will be hoping his charge can complete a Ballybrit double.

While the local runner holds major claims, trainer Mouse Morris is doubly represented by Band Of Blood and Rathlin - the latter also having finished second to Make A Track by the same margin at Punchestown this month.

Realt Mor and Protaras are another duo of locally-owned contenders with the former from Gordon Elliott's all-conquering stable.

Trainer Henry De Bromhead is also doubly represented with Elegant Statesman and Never Complain.

The Megan McManus Memorial Hurdle honours a loyal supporter of the Lisburn course and the local training ranks.

The conditions provide an opportunity for the Elliott-trained Bayan to warm up for another assault on the Galway Hurdle next month having finished runner-up last year.

Rising star Jack Kennedy takes the mount and claims a valuable 7lb, while the Willie Mullins-trained Devils Bride can supply the main danger.

The opening mares hurdle is an open affair but Queen Alphabet is taken to score for trainer Peter Fahy at the expense of The Nutcracker and Collen Beag.

Three Stars and Scorpion Star appear the top pair in the maiden hurdle with the former, trained by Henry De Bromhead, getting the vote.

Ram Them All, May Dullea, Colm's Dream and Gold Class are the principal quartet on form in the handicap hurdle with young Kennedy an eye-catching booking for the latter after finishing second to Colm's Dream at Clonmel last week.

Bellgorve, Empresario and Mister Red are a trio of possible winners in the beginners chase. Swantykay, runner-up on his two most recent starts, could continue the run of success of Meath trainer Elliott at Ulster tracks.

The concluding bumper provides an opportunity for Prickly, trained by Edward O'Grady and ridden by Downpatrick jockey Declan Lavery, to follow up victory at Limerick.

DOWN ROYAL TOP TIPS: 5.50 Queen Alphabet 6.20 Three Stars 6.55 Bayan 7.25 Colm's Dream 7.55 Swantykay 8.30 Sizing Solution 9.00 Prickly

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