Jim Dreaper set to reign supreme with form of deadly duo
Top trainer Jim Dreaper recorded success at Down Royal on Monday and can repeat that at Downpatrick this evening when holding a major hand in the hunter chase with El Grande and Kayf Supreme in a quality field.
El Grande, locally owned by Pat Conway, won a good point to point at Templepatrick, but has been off the course for two years.
Kayf Supreme is owned by Alan Potts, who has a very large team of top horses including veteran Sizing Europe, and he has won two points, including at Kirkistown in March.
Cadawill is a major danger having finished runner-up at the course to the Dreaper-trained Lord Fingal - a winner twice since, including on Monday at the Down Royal.
The locally trained Gonal holds place claims but Kayf Supreme is taken to just deny Cadawill.
The opening maiden hurdle is tricky with Ibsen, Unic De Bersy and Young Dillon holding similar claims. Dillon, trained by Mags Mullins with her son Danny aboard, has the benefit of having won his bumper at the track.
Sligo-based handler Mark McNiff runs Feel The Air in the Living The Dream Handicap Hurdle, restricted to mares, in a bid to register back-to-back victories at the venue.
Navan trainer Noel Meade has a good strike rate at the course. His horse Josephine Marcus was runner-up at Navan two starts ago and can score here.
Locally trained pair Shershewill and Sultana Belle hold place prospects and Meade could double up with another local prospect, Champoleon, in the maiden hurdle if returning to his best form for the Belfast-based Hunt family.
Shake It Up and Getting Late are obvious dangers while the local pair News From Pascal and Fair Ethel have place claims.
Exhibit Five carries top weight on his handicap debut, but has top rider Mark Walsh in the saddle. Kilcross Boy has consistent placed efforts to his credit, but has not win since 2012.
Lunch Master, Encore Une Annee and Redclue - the latter having finished third over fences at the course last time - can supply danger to Exhibit Five.
The handicap chase is another complex contest. Halls Bridge holds Island Peak on recent Tramore running, with Dog Barrel Hill and The Last Hour further behind.
Roconga, Theatre Flame, Hot On Her Heels and newcomer Ultimate Horseman look the quartet to focus on.
Rocongo could beat Ultimate Horseman, representing trainer Gordon Elliott who registered a double at the Maze on Monday, with top amateur Nina Carberry on board.
DOWNPATRICK TIPS: 5.20 Young Dillon 5.50 Josephine Marcus 6.20 Exhibit Five 6.50 Champoleon 7.25 Halls Bridge 8.00 Kayf Supreme 8.30 Rocongo