Cheltenham Festival regular Josies Orders could be set to appear in the point-to-point fields for the first time in over eight years after JP McManus’ charge featured on the second batch of hunter certificates for the new season which gets underway at Ballingarry on September 19.
Now a 12-year-old, Enda Bolger’s son of Milan was last seen in action between the flags when finishing third in a four-year-old maiden at Dromahane in April 2012, having been under the care of Liam Burke at the time.
In the intervening eight years, Josies Orders has been a stalwart of the Cross Country division since joining Bolger’s Howardstown Stables in April 2015, winning on three occasions over the banks at Punchestown and four successes at the Cross Country course in Prestbury Park, including his career highlight to date, with Cheltenham Festival glory when awarded the 2016 renewal following the disqualification of Any Currency after he tested positive for a banned substance.
His last two visits to Cheltenham produced his only two non-completions over that Cross Country course, pulling-up at the Cheltenham Festival in March on what was his fifth outing at the Festival.
At the age of 12, Josies Orders will not be the oldest horse to feature between the flags this season, with the 15-year-old veteran Old Supporter also receiving an early hunter certificate.
Louis Hill’s stalwart ran just once during last season’s shortened campaign, falling three-out in the open lightweight at Castletown-Geoghegan in October that was won by the subsequent Ulster National victor Space Cadet.
In all, Old Supporter has won nine times, including three in the point-to-point sphere, the last of which came at Stradbally in May 2017.
The hunter certificate deadline is fast approaching and in order to be able to run at the season opening fixtures at Ballingarry and Oldcastle on September 19 & 20, hunter certificates must be lodged with the IHRB by this coming Wednesday, September 2 at 5pm.