We head up to the north of Ireland for three races on Ulster National day. Starting with a maiden hurdle, Ted and Ruby Walsh have the favourite here with the JP McManus owned Salsa Sensation. He shown some good form when behind Fletcher in a maiden hurdle at Leopardstown in January. This form has worked out relatively well and he is likely to come on for the run. Salsa Sensation is very short in the market and it is worth looking for some value here. Utmost Zeal is a decent yardstick but is very frustrating. He goes off at a million miles an hour and was easily dispatched last weekend.
Burton Hall ran well enough on his last outing to suggest he will be winning races. He may just be more suited to handicaps and is not guaranteed to uphold form with Mystic Princess who finished just ahead of him.
Wee Gaza ran in the same race but slipped up prior to three out. He was still travelling well at that stage to suggest he would have finished in the frame at least behind an easy winner. Andrew Lynch is booked to take the ride which is a positive and he can out run his odds in what looks a weak event.
Wee Gaza (E/W)
Jumptoconclusions is the favourite for our next race. He won over course and distance with what looked to be a bit up his sleeve. Barry Geraghty maintains the partnership for the in form yard. However this is a competitive heat and at the prices again it is worth looking for some value.
Paul Townend is in amazing form after a cracking Cheltenham, adding a treble at Bangor bringing his total too ten wins in the last two weeks. He takes the ride on the selection Paddy O Dee. He was an impressive winner last time out of a decent handicap chase. He returns too hurdles off a much lower rating and can take full advantage here.
Off the remainder Champione needs to be monitored for any market support on handicap début.
Paddy O Dee (E/W)
We come to the feature race and the Ulster National. Bose Ikard is the market leader and could still be well handicapped. This would have been the target for his comeback after some really good runs. He looked in need of a break when finishing well down the field in the Troytown but had won twice over hurdles prior and has a nice look mark to work with. Noel Meades charge finished a staying on third in the Munster National when not getting the best ride so this looks right up his street. However he may need the run so he is overlooked.
The selection will be More Madness another with the services of Paul Townend. He finished a close enough fifth behind the well handicapped Embracing Change in a Grand National trial and was sent off second favourite that day. That form and the form off his next run have been well advertised over the last couple of weeks and he looks set for a big run. He has been campaigned against horses who have run well in bigger races and looks to have a great chance.
Man With A Van comes from last years winning trainer but has been out off form recently since winning a couple of novice chases in the UK. While Jupitor has in form claimer David Mullins on board which should give him a chance.
The main danger could be Riverside City who hasn’t shown much but is off a career low mark so winning should’t be far away.
More Madness (E/W)