Quality national hunt racing at Down Royal.

Down Royal has assembled a top quality field for the Grade 1 JNWINE.Com Champion Chase over 3 miles today at 2.30. With the course in perfect condition and the going good to yielding the 7 declared runners should serve up a memorable race.

They have won 71 races between them and the field includes the last two winners of this race in the shape of Kauto Stone and Quito De La Roque.

Sizing Europe makes the journey from Co Waterford for the third time to contest this race and may indeed get his head home in first place this time under Andrew Lynch. The 11 year old son of Pistolet Bleu has been well handled by Henry De Bromhead during his career with I feel the distance of 3 miles now within his compass particularly on this ground.

With three Gigginstown Stud horses competing, albeit coming from three different stables, the risk of racing as a team maybe should be factored into the races tactics in such a small field?

First Lieutenant looks to be the strongest option from this quarter with his seasonal bow at Punchestown putting him spot on for Mouse Morris and Davy Russell.

The races two past winners Quito and Kauto representing Colm Murphy and Paul Nicholls yards do probably have to improve their recent form to justify support today but they are good horses in their own right and deserve to be in the field.

A wonderful race awaits us with both my head and heart telling me that this will be Sizing Europe’s day.

The days other big race, the Grade 2 Powers Irish Whiskey Chase sees 8 runners declared with Rolling Aces travelling over from Britain. Paul Nicholls puts Nick Schofield up on the Whitmores Conn 7 year old and he wont be sending him over just for the scenery. He may have to give best here to Jessica Harrington and Oscars Well here. Fresh from her dual Grade winners yesterday she will be sure to see the Oscar 8 year old strip fitter here after his second at Nass last time to win under David Casey.

Roger Sweeney and Andrew Lynch are the choice in the Billecart-Salmon Handicap Hurdle with Fiery Oscar. This 8 year old son of Oscar mixes it between hurdling and chasing and his last run at Clonmel over fences should see him straight. He may get most to do from Maxim Gorky for Noel Meade and Davy Russell. This 3 time winning son of Montjeu comes from the illustrious family of Galileo but he needs to return to winning ways soon.

Racing opens with the Value Cabs 3 year old Hurdle and here Guitar Pete just gets the nod over Gitane De Berlais. Dessie Hughes and Bryan Cooper have already won with the son of Dark Angel and he may have too much speed to cope with the Willie Mullins / Ruby Walsh 3 year old daughter of Balko. This recent French import has already won over hurdles at Auteuil and is an interesting runner.

Tayto sponsor the 2 mile maiden hurdle and this looks like a three way contest between Gilt Shadow,No More Heroes and Shanahans Turn for messrs Crawford, Elliott and De Bromhead. The Crawford family from Co Antrim look like having the winning of this with their 5 year old Benefical horse, Gilt Shadow. He has winning form at Down Royal and looks capable of progressing further.

Rainbow Communications sponsor the 2m 6f handicap chase and here James Lambe and Ruby Walsh look to hold the answer with Twin Plan.This 8 year old son of Beneficial has been campaigning over hurdles of late and this race looks within his grasp for his Co Armagh based trainer. An each way option here could be Slew Charm for Co Down trainer Sarah Dawson and Noel McParlan. Fit after running in a point to point the 11 year old might be worth a bob or two.

The same partnership of Dawson and McParlan have an interesting runner in the last race of the festival the Daily Mirror Flat Race. Here they give a debut to Theatre One by Kings Theatre but this horse may have to give best to Gordon Elliotts Moonshine Lad, with the winning point to pointer being the choice under Steven Clements.

Best Options:

12.50 Guitar Pete (DT Hughes/Bryan Cooper)
1.20 Gilt Shadow (SBR Crawford/S Crawford)
1.55 Fiery Oscar (Roger Sweeney/AE Lynch)
2.30 Sizing Europe (AE Lynch/Henry De Bromhead)
3.05 Oscars Well (Jessica Harrington/DJ Casey)
3.40 Twin Plan (JJ Lambe/R Walsh)
4.10 Moonshine Lad (G Elliott/S Clements)

One Response to Quality national hunt racing at Down Royal.

  1. Pingback: Focus On The Jumps | HorseRacingFocus

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