Through the card at Downpatrick on Ulster National day

The Ulster National is the highlight from Sunday's card at Downpatrick
The Ulster National is the highlight from Sunday's card at Downpatrick

We're racing in Ireland again today, this time north of the border at Downpatrick races and we go through the card looking to improve on our three winners yesterday at Thurles.

1. Byrnes looking to get busy in the opener.

It's a big day for racing in Northern Ireland as one of their two tracks, Downpatrick, stages its prestigious Ulster National day card. The afternoon kicks off at 13.40 with a two miles and three furlongs maiden hurdle, a race in which it would be no major surprise to see a big run from the Charles Byrnes-trained hurdling debutant Vinnie Is Busy. Limerick man Byrnes has already saddled this horse to win a bumper on debut and sure to have been well schooled the Vinnie Roe gelding looks well equipped to make a splash over timber.

2. Keep an eye on Wajaaha.

Sticking with the Charles Byrnes theme, there was a suggestion the master target trainer had produced one of his specials when Wajaaha was heavily gambled before the off at Leopardstown 20 days ago, duly dotting up by four lengths after a surge of late market support forced the five year old into 11/4 favourite. By New Approach, the gelding reappears in the 14.10 Down Royal. Watch him closely in the betting.

3. The handicap master has an unexposed type in the 14.10.

Eyecatchingly sent off favourite over fences when a fair third at Navan last time out, the Tony Martin-trained Odds Or Evens has his first try in a handicap hurdle when tackling the 14.40 Down Royal. Conditional jockey Simon Torrens keeps the ride on this unexposed six year old.

4. Mullins looking for more luck in the feature.

National service! Willie Mullins was out of luck with his three runners at Thurles yesterday but could have more to cheer at Downpatrick this afternoon, saddling likely favourite Ifyoucatchmenow in the feature Ulster National at 15.10. This being on her fifth start over fences, the unexposed mare could have plenty more to come and arrives full of confidence after a never say die display to land the Punchestown National Trial in the final strides last time she was seen. This will be tougher after an inevitable rise in the weights, but Paul Townend takes over in the saddle, resuming a partnership with a horse upon whom he is an unblemished one from one to date.

5. Codd for two please!

Ace amateur rider Jamie Codd gift wrapped a 13/2 winner for followers of this column when scoring aboard his sole mount of the day at Thurles yesterday, guiding Major Robinson to a three parts of a length victory in the concluding bumper. He's back for more at Downpatrick this afternoon, partnering horses in each of the last two races on the card, both of whom appear to hold strong chances. The 'Coddfather' double looks like this:

  • 16.10 - 2 Complete Sizing
  • 16.40 - 2 Ballyadam 
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