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McBratney's Drum will be hard to beat at Downpatrick

By Ron McKnight

Drumhart can supply a local success in the Captain Byerley Beginners Chase at Downpatrick today.

Drumhart, trained at Crossgar by Colin McBratney, ran very well on his two most recent starts at the track - notably last time when denied by only a head after a wall of horses jumped the last fence together and he was forced wide.

Hurry Kitty has filled third place three times in recent efforts and trainer Liz Doyle has her team in dazzling form, recording a double at the last Downpatrick meeting. Jockey Sean Flanagan is also flying, with a hat-trick of winners in the past week.

Mustadrik also warrants consideration despite making his chasing debut, being a course winner over hurdles, and will appreciate the present going.

John Monash, with Bryan Cooper aboard, should add to Gordon Elliott's tally at the course, the Meath handler already assured of the leading trainer title having sent out 13 winners to date.

Banker Burke appears the obvious danger while the Tony Martin-trained Sarwistan has shown little form to date and requires softer going but champion jockey Ruby Walsh is a very notable booking.

Baroque Style, formerly trained by George Stewart at Lisburn, ran very well on Tuesday at Punchestown, finishing third for trainer Elliott after being off the course for 18 months.

However Sligo trainer Mark McNiff has indicated Urban Dusk will return to the track after winning last time and gets the vote to complete the Downpatrick double in the Royal Charter Handicap Hurdle.

Barrack Street is overdue victory having finished in the frame on his last three efforts at the track, runner-up last time when not quite able to catch the front running Tigroney.

The Elliott-trained Altipix had a few solid placed efforts last winter although in much softer conditions but still rates the danger while Ballylumford - trained near Larne by Stuart Crawford - should be involved in the finish.

Bills Official - a winner at the track in June and tackling superior company on recent starts - gets the selection in a competitive Celebrating 330 Years Later Handicap Chase.

Old Castletown - representing Ted and Ruby Walsh - failed to complete a hat-trick of victories when falling last week at Tipperary and again looks the likely favourite in the Darley Arabian Handicap Chase.

Vic Approach and Sister Annie appear the dangers and the latter could complete a double at the venue for trainer John Cullen.

Elliott can hit a double with Faraway Mountain in the last.

DOWNPATRICK TIPS: 2.30 John Monash 3.05 Urban Dusk 3.40 Barrack Street 4.15 Bill Official 4.50 Drumhart 5.25 Sister Annie 5.55 Faraway Mountain

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