Ifyoucatchmenow bids to plunder her second valuable prize of the year in Sunday’s Randox Ulster National.
The Grand National at Aintree might have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it is full steam ahead for the Northern Irish version at Downpatrick.
Ifyoucatchmenow represents Willie Mullins – and appears to hold strong claims as she bids to follow up her lucrative triumph in the 100,000 euro Grand National Trial at Punchestown last month.
The seven-year-old’s owner, David Dunsdon, said: “We were delighted with her the last day at Punchestown. When we bought her as a four-year-old, we felt that she could be a late developer and would ultimately end up being a staying chaser.
“Her second dam is Sallie’s Girl, who was a Grade Two-winning hurdler and finished second in the Drinmore Novice Chase, while her half-brother was Ballyward, who looked a good staying chaser in the making before he was sadly fatally injured when favourite for the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham last year.
“She’s a good mare, who tries very hard and the step up in trip the last day looked to reveal her potential.”
Mullins’ great rival Gordon Elliott is well represented, saddling six runners as he bids to add to the recent triumphs of Riverside City (2015) and Poormans Hill (2018) in the extended three-and-a-half-mile contest.
Poormans Hill is back for another go under Kevin Brogan, but has plenty to prove following some disappointing efforts.
Rachael Blackmore keeps the ride on Cheb De Kerviniou after the pair finished second in the Leinster National at Naas a fortnight ago, while 7lb claimer Gavin Brouder is on board Gun Digger again following their recent success at Leopardstown.
Former Irish Grand National winner General Principle (Sean O’Keeffe), Out Sam (Jamie Codd) – third in the Glenfarclas cross-country Chase at Cheltenham last week – and Its All Guesswork (Davy Russell) complete the Elliott sextet.
Tipperary-based trainer Leslie Young has high hopes for the veteran Cappacurry Zak.
Since finishing second in successive point-to-points in the autumn, the 11-year-old has won two of his three starts, most recently landing a veterans chase at Navan.
“He’s 11 now, but he’s probably better than he’s ever been,” said Young.
“He’s on a career-high mark of 124. It looks a competitive race all right, but after the way he won the last day he’s entitled to have a crack at it.
“He’s well able to handle soft to heavy ground if it stays that way, although it is drying out here at the moment.”