Ruby Walsh to get punters off to flyer
Champion trainer Willie Mullins can register a first and last race double at Downpatrick today, with Ruby Walsh an eye-catching booking in the opener.
Walsh rides Renneti for Mullins in the first race. The ex French flat horse makes his debut over hurdles for leading owner Rich Ricci and is the top jockey's sole mount at the meeting.
The Mullins runner would not need to be exceptional to score first time over timber.
Hilden won a bumper for trainer Gordon Elliott at Fairyhouse and is the obvious danger.
But Revolution is an interesting contender. A winner on the flat at Deauville last December, the filly is now trained at Loughgall by James Lambe and registered a decent effort when fifth of 22 in a mile handicap at the Curragh last month and if taking to flights can give the selection most to do.
Jazz Concerto, Smiler and Iamtoldiamgrand look the principal form trio in the concluding bumper.
The latter represents father and son Willie and Patrick Mullins and ran well at the Listowel Festival on very testing ground to finish fifth and can build on that effort.
Jazz Concerto is owned locally by John Corr, showed promise on his sole effort at Gowran and, along with Smiler, has each way claims.
My Aya filled second at Armagh on his sole points effort prior to moving to trainer Noel Meade and finishing third over the course and distance albeit some distance behind the winner.
Father Jack and Our Maimie also warrant consideration in the maiden hurdle and the latter, trained by Ray McGlinchey at Bundoran, could offer the best each way value in the race having recorded a few placed starts and is likely to handle the track.
Bouncing Betty, with in-form jockey Davy Condon aboard, can gain a repeat course victory having scored over the same trip in August at the track.
Hero De Villeneuve ran well and finished fifth at the course last time but Hello Louie, with a couple of solid placed efforts in recent starts, is the main danger.
Mackeys Forge and Jimmy The Hat make most appeal in the beginners chase while Ipsos Du Berlais and Pickapocketortwo return after nearly a year's absence and likely favourite Usuel Smurfer continues to disappoint.
High Talk was just denied by Bouncing Betty a couple of runs back at the venue and could gain compensation in the handicap chase.
Old Supporter, a Clonmel winner last time, appears the likely favourite while Whiskey Galore is preferred to Pat Garrett which finished fourth at the track last month.
DOWNPATRICK TOP TIPS: 2.25 Renneti 3.00 Our Maimie 3.35 Bouncing Betty (nap) 4.10 Mackeys Forge 4.45 High Talk (each way) 5.15 Sizing Solution 5.45 Iamtoldiamgrand