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Trainer Brian in with a Big chance

By Ron McKnight

Trainer Brian Hamilton, based beside the course, can claim the opening Downpatrick Family Day Hurdle with Big Kern.

The selection made an impressive winning debut at the track last month in a bumper and, while making his debut over hurdles, has plenty of top class form in point to points.

Hamilton has his small team of summer horses in top form and can continue his run of success at his home venue at the expense of the likely favourite Moss Street representing trainer Gordon Elliott and jockey Paul Carberry.

Despite the small field it is hard to separate the principle trio in the Bronte Homelands Hurdle

Orgilgo Bay is rated 127 but has failed to win since landing a juvenile hurdle in October last year.

Smiler, having won his last two races at the venue and his Cork-based owner/trainer/jockey Mikey O'Connor stating "he loves this place – pity it is so far away", again makes the trip but the vote goes to the Christy Roche-trained Dancing Roe, rated 122 and a solid second at Roscommon last week.

House Limit, Swantykay, Thoonavolla and Whitehead Lad make most appeal in the handicap hurdle.

House Limit has registered success at the course, however Whitehead Lad – runner-up at Tramore last time with Roger Loughran aboard – could offer the best value.

The Eoin Doyle-trained Indian Fairy stands out in the Mares Maiden Hurdle following two good efforts, with Do Na Paisti and Katie Lu the dangers.

Wandering Aengus looks another solid bet in the St Patrick's Country Hurdle with two excellent efforts over a similar long distance trip on his latest starts and is aided by jockey Shane Shortall's 7lbs claim.

Better Part Of Me, owned by Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary and trained by Gordon Elliott with Paul Carberry in the saddle, could start favourite but the point to point winner at Loughbrickland may be over rated and has disappointed on his two track starts including when favourite in a bumper at the venue in May.

Presswell Lad is already a three-time winner at the course and is taken to add to that highly impressive tally in the Joe Rea Handicap Hurdle.

Trainer/rider Micky Butler forgoes the mount to take advantage of Andrew Ring's 7lbs claim on the top weight.

Ni Sin E Mo Ainm is another runner from Eoin Doyle's stable and the horse travelling from Kilkenny looks the danger while the Elliott/Carberry combination is represented by I C Gold which reverts to the course proper after victory in a point to point.

County Meath trainer Gordon Elliott can get on the scoreboard with Tom's Article in the bumper following two encouraging starts and has the benefit of Nina Carberry aboard.

Indian Whiskey, trained by James Nash, is a notable newcomer and can prove the danger.

Meanwhile, Tony McCoy went to within one winner of reaching his latest target but missed the mark in frustrating fashion at Southwell.

The 19-times champion is trying to equal trainer Martin Pipe's total of 4,191 winners and got to 4,190 on Stonemadforspeed (7-2) in the Blu UK Novices Hurdle.

Hot favourite Retrieve then looked in full control of the Nottingham City Transport Handicap Hurdle under Ulsterman McCoy but was cut down on the line by Hi Tide.

TODAY'S TOP TIPS: 2.50 Big Kern 3.20 Dancing Roe 3.50 Whitehead Lad 4.20 Indian Fairy 4.50 Wandering Aengus 5.20 Presswell Lad 5.55 Tom's Article

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