Saturday 21 January 2017

Bally Wall can go distance in Ulster National

Thomas Kelly

Published 02/03/2011 | 05:00

STAYING will be the name of the game today at Downpatrick where the Toals Bookmakers Ulster Grand National EBF Handicap Chase is the feature event.

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In this contest 12 months ago, triumph mixed with tragedy as the winner Chief Oscar collapsed and died shortly after passing the post. Winning rider Andrew Lynch will be hoping history doesn't repeat itself in such cruel fashion again.

This afternoon Lynch has the leg-up on last year's runner-up Bally Wall and Ian Ferguson's charge has good prospects of going one better.

While the eight-year-old hasn't won since Ayr last April, he is running well and last time out, finished third to Isla Pearl Fisher over three miles at Musselburgh.

Bally Wall will be much better suited to the extra half mile today and he is given the nod to see off Flemensford and the Mervyn Torrens-trained Hughies Grey.

Belle Brook looks the one to bear in the Audrey Woods Memorial EBF Mares Novice Hurdle. Davy Russell's mount should prove too strong for Streamtown.

Philip Rothwell's Mayo Mystique is hard to oppose in the opening Martinstown Opportunity Maiden Hurdle, while Lynch has a fine chance aboard Arctic Mick in the Peter Meegan Memorial Handicap Hurdle. Lord Multifix can take the hunters chase, and any market moves for the Gordon Elliott-trained Nutin Fancy should be worth following in the bumper.

Irish Independent

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