Hughies Grey took the featured Toals Bookmakers Ulster Grand National at Downpatrick yesterday in the hands of Galway jockey Mick Darcy.
A maiden over fences, having just his sixth start over the larger obstacles, Mervyn Torrens charge led at the fourth fence and despite being pressed at the second last, he stayed on strongly to beat Posh Bird and Selection Box.
Trainer Torrens now hopes his grey will be good enough for the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse:
“He jumped well, but to be honest he’s always jumped well. He didn’t touch a twig today. He’s been crying out for that sort of trip and I hope he could be an Aintree horse in time. We’ll consider the Irish National now. I had him in the Thyestes, but he didn’t get in. I thought he’d have won his novice chase by now, but he’s run up against a few good ones.”
Twice a winner at Down Royal, in both a bumper and maiden hurdle, the 7-y-o has now completed the clean sweep of Ulster tracks and will be a serious contender for some of the better staying chases over the coming months.