Down Royal Celebrate Their Big One Today

The first race is off at 14h53

Down Royal racecourse, near Lisburn in Northern Ireland, host their most valuable event, the Gr1 Ladbrokes Champion Chase (16h32) on Saturday afternoon.

Five rivals contest the €88,500 first prize run over 3 miles on a predicted soft track.

Down Royal Racecourse (PIc – Racing TV)

The 10-year-old Kemboy may not be the force he once was, but he is race-fit after two runs this season, and this game front-runner will ensure a genuine pace.

Champion jock Paul Townend rides for his boss Willie Mullins, but on official ratings he has a lot on his plate having to find between 8 and 10lbs to compete with the Gordon Elliott duo.

There’s little to separate Gordon Elliott pair Galvin and Conflated on form and on ratings, but the former has had a recent winning outing this season and that could be the difference.

A progressive staying chaser, the eight-year-old by Gold Well was narrowly denied by Frodon last year and should go one better on Saturday.

Later on the card at 17h07, four go to the 2 and a half mile start for the Gr2 Eventsec Chase. All four are making their reappearance but the race looks a duel between the smart Fighter Allen from the Champion Mullins yard and Fury Road for the in-form Gordon Elliott stable. Fury Road is favoured to prevail having course experience.

Over the Irish Sea at Wincanton racecourse, the veteran 10-year-old Scented Royal (evens favourite) attempts to win the Gr2 Unibet Elite Hurdle (17h00) for a third time. Only three rivals contest the feature including fellow course and distance winner Knappers Hill.

This 6-year-old showed a touch of class when accounting for a subsequent winner at Chepstow last month. He gets a handy 6lbs from the Alan King trained favourite and is saddled by champion trainer Paul Nicholls who is currently on a 39% winning strike-rate. He is selected to spoil the party for the favourite.

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