Torrens set for a Grey day
Omagh trainer Mervyn Torrens is generally successful at Down Royal and he may be on the mark with Hughies Grey in the Bet With The Tote Handicap Hurdle tomorrow.
Hughies Grey has a second place at Gowran Park to his name and was fancied on the strength of that here on Boxing Day.
However, he ran disappointingly and finished down the field. Conor Maxwell again takes the mount tomorrow and Torrens is hopeful that Hughies Grey will land the spoils on this occasion.
Ballymena trainer Ian Ferguson has had bad luck with Posh Bird who was second in December at Downpatrick and also at Down Royal.
Posh Bird has a genuine chance along with the Tom Taaffe-trained Knocklayde Euro who will be ridden by Barry Geraghty, and this is a combination which should see them start favourite.
However, if Torrens’s optimism is to be taken at face value, then Hughies Grey should do the business and win at a nice price.
Torrens also has Major Key who won at Downpatrick in December and goes in the Weatherbys Insurance Novice Handicap Hurdle. The one to beat here is Roll Over Rover from Noel Meade, who may also score with Corskeagh Royale in the Beginners’ Chase.
The ever-present Roy Wilson from Larne, will run Ramsden boy in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Chase. Ramsden Boy ran well when fifth in the last meeting here — his first appearance after a long absence.
Willie Mullins will probably win the Wetherby Racecards Hurdle with C’est Ca who will be ridden by Ruby Walsh.
In the bumper, Mullins runs Cottrelsbooley who will be ridden by his son Paddy.
Meanwhile, The Tote will sponsor the Galway Plate, for the next three years.
The race will now be called the www.thetote.com Galway Plate and will be worth €200,000.
Galway race committee chairman Tim Naughton said: “The Galway Race Committee are delighted that the Tote has agreed to sponsor Galway Plate Day for the next three years.
“The Tote has been sponsoring in Galway for the past number of years and their decision to sponsor the world famous Galway Plate is very welcome news to all of us.”
The Galway Plate takes place this year on Wednesday, July 28.
l Arkle favourite Captain Cee Bee is due to have his final run before the Cheltenham Festival in Saturday's BBA Ireland Ltd Opera Hat Novice Chase at Naas.
Eddie Harty's Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner fell at the last when looking the winner of the Bord Na Mona Chase, leaving Sizing Europe to come home unchallenged. Previously he had won a beginners chase at Naas from Zaarito and An Cathaoir Mor .
Down Royal selections: 1.05: Tonto Murphy; 1.35: Hughies Grey; 2.10 C’est Ca; 2.45 Roll Over Rover; 3.20; Corskeagh Royale; 3.50: Ramsden Boy; 4.20 Cottrelsbooley.