Moonmeister shows class
Meath trainer Gordon Elliott started were he left off at the last meeting when landing the opener at Downpatrick with Moonmeister partnered by Luke Dempsey.
The winner, a multiple scorer on the level, was opening his account over jumps and having waited mid-division, gradually improved his position and while led over the last by Rufino, kept on in very game fashion to overhaul the leader near the line.
Elliott said: "He had schooled well over hurdles at home - I'll look for a winner of one hurdle possibly at Galway. He'll mix and match during the summer on the flat and jumps."
Autumn Shades, trained by Michael Molloy, showed her liking for the venue when gaining a repeat success in the mares' handicap hurdle with top jockey Mark Walsh aboard. The winner, owned by top bloodstock adviser, Timmy Hyde made all the running to score as Feel The Air kept on to take second. Molloy said: "We love coming to Downpatrick as the track is son well maintained and they looked after connections exceptionally well. Last time the course [Ballinrobe] proved too tight for her. She's a big mare that will make into a chaser and will go chasing at some point. I'll look for a hurdle race at Galway depending on what the handicapper does."
Ballyfinboy was another to win after making all the running for trainer, Jimmy Finn and jockey Kevin Sexton.
The winner had victory assured prior to the final flight and the Co Tipperary trainer said: "He'll go to the Galway Festival for the race he won two years ago. He didn't get the trip last time and is taking his racing well. He might have another run before Galway."