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Ruby and Willie swooping to conquer at Downpatrick

By Ron McKnight

Champion trainer and champion jump jockey - Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh - target Downpatrick tomorrow.

The featured Rated Hurdle is an above average contest and Walsh partners likely favourite Timi Roli, owned by Belfast man George Creighton who was also joint owner of the great Hurricane Fly.

Time For Mabel and Westland Row are the top rated pair warranting respect however Andratx, trained by Mark McNiff, gets the selection.

The Sligo handler's runner completed a hat-trick over hurdles prior to a very convincing victory on the flat at the Galway Festival and looks progressive.

Iolani won his bumper at the course and can open his account over hurdles in the first race if accounting for Unicorn and Skeaping.

The pair of champions can double up with Blixit in the mares handicap hurdle.

The half-sister to Hurricane Fly won her maiden hurdle at the previous fixture and has most to fear from Sharlanda and Lilywhite Gesture.

Bective Cave, Rapid Fritz and Bell Of The Ball appear the trio to focus on in the handicap hurdle and the latter, trained by Newry based Liam Lennon and a winner at the track on his penultimate start, could follow up.

Mountain Rock has the excellent Davy Russell in the saddle and should be capable of claiming the long distance maiden hurdle with the Joseph O'Brien trained Mischievous Max the obvious danger.

Better Back Bob had Tranquil Magic in second when scoring at the venue last month for Loughbrickland handler Neil McKnight.

Celtic Monarch, trained by Mark McNiff who has an amazing strike rate at the track, could prove a bigger danger than Captains And Kings and Pat's Oscar.

Likely favourite, The Trigger, is also engaged at Kilbeggan today but if opting for the local venue would be a major fancy.

Team Mullins, Willie and son Patrick, could also land the concluding bumper with Special Ted. Slippery Serpent and Mr Dealer are the dangers.

DOWNPATRICK SELECTIONS: 2.15 Iolani 2.45 Andratx 3.15 Bell Of The Ball 3.50 Blixit 4.25 Mountain Rock 4.55 Better Back Bob 5.25 Special Ted

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