The historic Ulster Grand National sponsored by Toals Bookmakers will be run at Downpatrick racecourse on Sunday 24th March.
Pineau De Re was the most recent winner to complete the big race double when also winning the Aintree Grand National the same year writes Joe Kavanagh.
The locally owned, Caughoo after which a bar at the course is named was a dual winner of the feature chase and another to complete the Aintree double while the locally owned and trained Benton Boy partnered by Ann Ferris for her Glengormley based father, Willie Rooney won both the feature of the racing year at Downpatrick and the Irish Grand National in 19 84.
Frankly All Talk has had the big race as his target since winning at Clonmel last month for Armagh trainer, Keith Watson in a bid to follow up the success of Anseanachai Cliste in 2017 for Mc Conville family again based in County Armagh. Larne trainer, Stuart Crawford landed the race in 2014 following the disqualification of the first past the post Unoccupied and the race awarded to Hidden Horizons following a stewards enquiry. The late Queen Mother saw her horse Laffy win the Ulster National in 1962 during her visit to the province.
Lauren Toal representing her father’s major betting shop chain which includes the on-course facility at the local course said: “ We now have a large portfolio of racing sponsorship however the Ulster Grand National is always a very special day for us and while producing a very competitive contest can also produce a high-class horse and possibly provide clues to the Aintree show piece.”
This year’s renewal will be run under the Toalsbet.com title while the Sloan family under their WKD brand will endorse the best dressed competition on the day. Gates will open at 12noon with the first race 2.30pm with live music before and after racing.