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Elliott set for Downpatrick joy with Joey


By Ron McKnight

Joey Sasa is taken to land the featured conditions hurdle at Downpatrick for trainer Gordon Elliott.

The selection won his bumper at the track last year and, despite just five runners, the race is a quality event.

Peace News is the obvious danger, however Fort Montague and Dakota Moirette also have claims.

Top trainer Willie Mullins again launches an assault at the local venue.

While rival Elliott is represented in the opener by Isodon, Mullins relies on French import Sympa Des Flos.

However the latter, while runner-up on his sole start, has been absent for two years and makes his Irish debut.

Statistical and Out Of The Loop will ensure a competitive contest, and the latter - third at the course on his last time out - can supply the value bet today.

The two top trainers - who fought out the championship with Mullins retaining his crown - again dominate the maiden hurdle with Mullins running Sois Gentil, winner of his bumper last month, and Elliott double handed with Coeur De Beauchene and Monkshood.

The last named gets the vote, while Up For Discussion, despite disappointing when odds on favourite at the track last time, could supply the danger.

Poormans Hill is taken to complete a hat-trick of wins for Elliott in the handicap hurdle with Uptake and Phantasmo providing the dangers.

Charms Bracelet, Ashjan, Alterno and Tranquil Magic are a quartet of course winners in the handicap hurdle and the last named can gain repeat success for trainer Colin Bowe.

Canny Tom, Wee Small Hours, Scotch Beg and Knockraha King form the short list in the beginners chase, with the last named, trained by Adrian Maguire and with former champion jockey Paul Townend in the saddle, getting preference.

Dinnie's Vinnie can claim the last race of the year at Downpatrick if accounting for TB Broke Her and Mullaghmurphy Blue in the finale.

It looks set to be an intriguing seven-race card.

TODAY'S DOWNPATRICK TIPS: 2.15 Out Of The Loop 2.50 Monkshood 3.25 Poormans Hill 4.00Tranquil Magic 4.35 Joey Sasa 5.10 Knockraha King 5.40 Dinnie's Vinnie

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