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Call It Magic set for a return back between the flags

No fewer than 434 horses will be eligible to run at the start of the new point-to-point season when it gets underway at Toomebridge on Saturday October 5th, followed 24 hours later by the Westmeath Foxhounds fixture at Castletown-Geoghegan.

That follows the biggest week of hunter certificates this season with 233 certs being issued this week, including no less than 124 four-year-old’s. Seventeen of these come from the champion handler Colin Bowe, with a further 14 from another former champion handler in Donnchadh Doyle.

Of the older horses set to star this season, Colin McBratney is bringing Quiet Account back between the flags, following a 15-month spell under rules for the former seven-time point-to-point winner, where he will be joined by Call It Magic, a horse that has not been seen the in the pointing fields since making a winning debut at Oldtown in 2015 as a five-year-old.

Since then, the chestnut son of Indian River has amassed over €80,000 for his owner Zorka Wentworth, and was sent off as the 6/1 second favourite for the Topham Chase at Aintree’s Grand National meeting in April on his penultimate outing.

Parting company with Mark Enright at the Canal Turn on that occasion, the nine-year-old remains with Kildare trainer Ross O’Sullivan and comes into open lightweight company with a rating of 134 over fences.

The ex-JP McManus-owned Strongly Suggested was top-rated 133 over fences at his peak, and joins Bryan Murphy from Jonjo O’Neill’s Jackdaw Castle Stables, ahead of what would be his debut in the pointing sphere, with Undressed another new name between the flags.

The 11-year-old pulled up in the Ulster National at Downpatrick in March in what has proven to be his final outing for the Willie Mullins team, as the Lost World gelding is now under the care of Liam Kenny, to run in the colours of former champion novice rider Harley Dunne.

Dylrow started the year by winning consecutive races at Fairyhouse for Robert Hennessy and he has now joined the Fermanagh stable of David Christie, who does so well with his team of open horses.

The nine-year-old is a three-time winner in total on the track and is now under the ownership of bookmaker Ray Nicholas, whose colours will also be carried by Pyrios, the dual Grade 3 winner Three Stars, who has left the Henry de Bromhead yard, and Some Man, a former four-year-old maiden winner for Donnchadh Doyle that joins Christie following a winless spell with Paul Nicholls.

Elsewhere, the former three-time winning pointer Better B Quick returns at the age of 13, having also won a Handicap Chase at Wexford in June 2018, in his latest spell under rules. The Overbury gelding will now run for Michael Murphy, as are all their Redbridge Stables horses.

Those handlers who wish to run their horses on the opening weekend of the season should take note of the following cut-off dates to have hunter certificates lodged with the IHRB.

Owners and Handlers of horses who wish to run at Galway Blazers (F) on Sunday 13th October should ensure that relevant Hunters Certificates are lodged at the Offices of the IHRB, The Curragh, Co. Kildare, R56 Y668 for registration no later than close of business on Friday 27th September.

Reminder: Please note that a Hunters Certificate will not be registered if the Owner’s and Handler’s unique reference numbers are not included on the Hunters Certificate.

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