Elliott aims to lead the way
Downpatrick will host a special visitor this afternoon with top British amateur rider Sam Waley-Cohen, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup and King George VI Chase on Long Run, a VIP guest of the directors.
And he may well see Gordon Elliott collect the Horse First-sponsored Leading Trainer prize once again. Ballela Boy can help his cause in the EBF Hurdle after a runner-up finish at Gowran last time out.
Forever Dylan, twice second at the course, is the obvious danger.
Elliott is represented by top weight Canny Tom in the Autumn Handicap Hurdle. Tony Martin has Our Rachael engaged and the selection has shown promise in decent flat handicaps and over hurdles.
Elliott can end the season at Downpatrick with a winner if Dounikos, partnered by Nina Carberry, can claim the concluding bumper by accounting for Bridge Native and Nerual.
Teacher's Pet, meanwhile, won at the local venue on his penultimate start and represents trainer Philip Dempsey and jockey Luke - a father/son combination - in the long distance hurdle. Coldstonesober, The Rite Article and Sir Jack Yeats will be in the mix.
Jockey Danny Mullins is in a purple patch and partners Russellstown in the opener, where the Elliott-trained Captain Bocelli appears the favourite. The locally-owned Mahler Ten makes his debut for trainer Noel Meade.
The Henry De Bromhead-trained Gone Platinum gets the vote on his debut over fences in the Beginners Chase, while the Handicap Chase is open with Robin Des People, Sean Airgead, Polish Partisan and Capture The Drama standing out.
TODAY'S DOWNPATRICK TIPS: 2.20 Russellstown 2.55 Our Rachael 3.30 Ballela Boy 4.05 Teacher's Pet 4.40 Gone Platinum 5.10 Capture The Drama 5.40 Dounikos