Point-to-point season gets under way
THE new season gets under way at Toomebridge today, with Limerick Hunt racing tomorrow at Rathcannon, and both fixtures have attracted over 90 runners.
The Northern venue opens with a four-year-old maiden, in which the twice third Royalraise, trained by the in-form Colin Bowe, could take the honours.
William Ross' Mothers Tree could be the one to follow in the mares' maiden, while the Stuart Crawford-trained Hit The Road Jack has some track form.
At Rathcannon, Michael Barry saddles Lucky Cody, which was second at the end of last season and could be ready to open his account in the four-year-old maiden.
Joey Casey's experienced Blue Bell Walk is consistent and deserves reward so should score in the mares' maiden, while Vincent Halley's promising Dusty Miller, which won his only start at Dromahane, could be worth noting in the winners' race.
Pauric O'Connor often does well at early season meetings and his Tullymackan could be worth following in the Open, while Michael Phillips' Remarkable Man is the standout selection in the closing race.
NUMBER OF THE DAY
34Weeks of action in the point-to-point season that gets under way today.
HORSE TO FOLLOW
The Doorman was second at Lemonfield last March to Minella Foru, which won his maiden hurdle at Listowel last week.
But for a very bad mistake four out by The Doorman, this result could have been exceptionally tight, so the JP McManus -owned gelding is one to watch out for on his track debut.
Norther Bay makes the long journey from Eoin Griffin's base in Kilkenny to Toomebridge this afternoon having finished 12 lengths adrift of Pires in a conditions chase at Ballinrobe only a month ago, so fitness is assured and he will take beating in the Open.
Mid Antrim (H) at Toomebridge 1.0
Limerick (F) at Rathcannon 2.30