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Trainer Elliott set to shine at Downpatrick

By Jimmy Walker

Navan trainer Gordon Elliott, with six winners in two days at Perth, is obviously the man to follow, and should be on the mark again at Sligo and Perth tomorrow before launching an assault on the big ‘Twelfth’ meeting at Downpatrick.

Elliott will be at Perth with Nedzer's Return in the toteplacepot Maiden Hurdle, as the three-time course-and-distance winner returns to the track.

He notched up a hat-trick in April and May before suffering defeat when dropping back in trip at Kilbeggan last month.

Stepping back up to two-and-a-half miles here though, Nedzer's Return can regain the winning thread.

Elliott's Long Wait was also successful at Perth last week, and he can repeat the dose in the toteexacta Flexi Betting Handicap Hurdle, although the assessor might have got a bit carried away in raising him 19lbs.

Elliott is also banking on Riverscape, who has won his last two races, and goes for the Irish Stallion Farms Novice Hurdle.

Riverscape was highly impressive when skating up at Down

Royal’s mid-summer meeting in the hands of Paul Carberry, starting favourite and never looking like being beaten, and should do the job once more.

Omagh’s Mervyn Torrens will be looking for a double with Isabellareine, who has won at Gowran Park recently, and Takendo, strongly faniced at Down Royal but never really getting into the race behind King High.

However, on previous form, it may pay to row in with Tak in the RSS Document Storage Handicap Hurdle, while Is runs in the Guinness Handicap Hurdle and has every chance of winning.

On to Downpatrick next Tuesday, and Elliott is hoping to follow up with his Down Royal winner Final Day, who goes in the Daily Outshine Hurdle.

Final Day won the second leg of a double for Elliott, along with Riverscape, at that meeting, and should follow up in a light-looking line-up.

Silverford is another possible Elliott runner on Tuesday in the opening Maiden Hurdle, and bids to improve on his second placings at Gowran Park and Cartmel.

Mark McIniff will make the trip from Sligo, and he has become something of a Downpatrick specialist. His High Talk is down to run in the Baileys Handicap Hurdle, and is worth following .

With Colin McBratney’s stable in good form, he has to be supported in the Mares’ Bumper with No Delay. McBratney is looking forward to the Galway festival, where he was successful in the Galway Plate with Ballyholland.

He has high hopes of another success with Carsonstown Boy in a Beginners’ Chase.

At Fairyhouse today, the big race is the Belgrave Stakes — a listed race — and here Eddie Lynan’s Duff must have a chance for Lynam and jockey Frank Berry, as they bid to turn around a narrow defeat by Six Of Heart in the Ballycorus Stakes at Leopardstown at the end of May.

But Snaefell from the Michael Halford yard is another to consider, and will be better suited to a return to six furlongs.

Aidan O’Brien will be hard to stop in the opener with Inca Princess, and can score a first and last race double with Catchafallingstar in the Ballyhack Race.

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