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Cooper can fly high on gifted Plie at Downpatrick

 

In the saddle: Leading jockey Bryan Cooper has a big chance aboard Demi Plie at Downpatrick today
In the saddle: Leading jockey Bryan Cooper has a big chance aboard Demi Plie at Downpatrick today

By Ron McKnight

Demi Plie, carrying the colours of JP McManus, gets a confident vote in the Beginners Chase at Downpatrick today.

Trained by Padraig Roche, the selection is due to be partnered by top jockey Bryan Cooper.

The dual winner over hurdles was unlucky to part company with his rider on his chasing debut two from home when holding every chance.

Locally-owned Alpha Indi, trained by Gordon Elliott, appears the main danger while course winner Lleyton could have place claims.

Cabra trainer Sean McParlan runs Holycross Lito in the opening Mares Maiden Hurdle following a decent effort when fourth at Kilbeggan.

Walking In Memphis was second at the track on her penultimate start and looks the likely favourite.

Elliott, leading trainer at the course, is doubly represented with Amor Verdadero possibly best and Davy Russell aboard.

The Gavin Cromwell-trained A Place Apart is taken to gain a repeat success at the venue in the Down Hurdle if capable of accounting for Wooster and Milomynit.

The Coors Hurdle is an open affair however the Elliott-trained Duke's Girl is taken to score based on a good effort when third to Hero's Welcome at Punchestown. Global Racing, Pump Road and Madaboy Cross appear the main threats.

Draperstown handler Noel Kelly has the first and second reserves with Oscar Light and Mash Potato and if getting a run are worth noting.

Trainer John McConnell is enjoying an excellent season and Pat's Peal, already a winner at the venue, can win the Tote Chase.

Creadan Grae represents the Elliott and Russell partnership and despite top weight has solid claims but the locally-trained School Lane - having been ultra consistent in placed efforts including runner-up in the Ulster National - could be the one to beat. King's War opened his account after 24 starts last time.

Allied Victory gets the vote in the Handicap Chase with Canadian Steel, I'm An Izz Wizz and Allduckornodinner dangers.

Santana Plessis, Three Is Company and Jakoboy form the short list in the concluding bumper restricted to lady riders with the last named - trained by Noel Meade for the Belfast-based Hunt family - taken to prevail.

SELECTIONS: 2.30 Holycross Lito 3.05 A Place Apart 3.40 Duke's Girl 4.15 Demi Plie 4.50 Pat's Pearl 5.25 Allied Victory 5.55 Jakoboy

•Happy Power could be set for a swift reappearance at Royal Ascot after improving his already impressive strike-rate with a straightforward success in the Ganton Stakes at York.

Andrew Balding's three-year-old had won three of his six runs prior to stepping up to a mile in the Listed contest.

Having run with credit to be third to John Quinn's progressive Safe Voyage last time out, he found the extra furlong no problem. Just five went to post on the Knavesmire and only the winner and Wadilsafa were ever involved. Dane O'Neill looked reluctant to make the running on Wadilsafa, but with over a furlong to run everything bar Happy Power was in trouble.

When Silvestre De Sousa asked Happy Power to quicken, he did so nicely and the 6-5 favourite went on to win by a length and a quarter.

Alastair Donald, bloodstock manager for Happy Power's owners, King Power Racing, said: "There's a chance, depending on how he comes out of the race, and if there is give in the ground still, that he could run in the Jersey (next Saturday at the Royal meeting)."

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