Over £2.5million was spent on Irish Point-to-Point horses at the Tattersalls Cheltenham sales on Thursday with 12 horses selling for £100,000 plus. Some of those will undoubtedly go on to make a big impact under rules in the future and connections will be hopeful that they will have the ability to be competitive in such races as Scottish Grand National. The Grade 3 handicap Chase takes place at Ayr on Saturday and ex-Irish pointers are well represented, with eight former pointers going in the 30-runner field.
Trustan Times made a quick impact for handler Jerry Cosgrave as the Heron Island gelding ran out an impressive winner of a four-year-old maiden at Castletown in 2010. Moved on to Tim Easterby, the 11-year-old is now a five-time track winner and came close to winning this race in 2014, when he finished a close third to Al Co in the Grade 3 handicap chase.
Battle Of Shiloh has done very little wrong since moving to Tom George, winning four of his five starts under rules for the trainer. A faller on his most recent start, the Shantou gelding was unbeaten in two starts for handler David Kiely, winning a maiden at Ballindenisk and following up in a winners' race at Belharbour.
Lessons In Milan made a dream start to his career for trainer Nail Madden when winning a maiden under Jamie Codd at Tinahely in March 2013. Moved on to Nicky Henderson following a sale at Tattersalls for €57,000, the Milan gelding is a two-time track winner and warmed up for this with an encouraging display in the Kim Muir handicap chase at the Cheltenham festival.
A half-length win for Portrait King on debut at Rockfield marked the Portrait Gallery gelding out as one to follow. The 12-year-old has since won three races on the track and showed he retained plenty of his ability by finishing third in the Topham Chase at Aintree earlier this month. He finished tenth in this race in 2012 under Denis O'Regan.
Cogry failed to win in three pointing starts for Colin McKeever but showed enough to make him of interest for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies. Six wins later for the King's Theatre gelding and the eight-year-old is gearing up for his second tilt at the Scottish Grand National.
Straidnahanna a winner of a maiden for Colin McKeever at Largy in 2013, Man With Van a winner on debut at Talyorstown and Blakemount a winner for Thomas Costello at Stradbally complete the line-up for ex-pointers.