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Ruby can be hit on Miss

By Ron McKnight

Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty are two of the star names riding at Downpatrick's first fixture of the season when a donation of £25,000 will be made to the Irish Injured Jockeys Fund - money raised at the recent Byerley Turk Gala Ball auction at the course.

Both Walsh and Geraghty and Walsh ride in the mares maiden hurdle, the Irish champion jockey aboard Miss Me Now, trained by Willie Mullins and making her debut over flights having won a Sligo bumper in similar conditions.

Geraghty - retained rider for JP McManus - partners Floral Fantasy for the owner, and trainer Enda Bolger, and appears the danger to the Irish champion trainer's runner.

Billy Billy, trained by Stuart Crawford near Larne, should again be capable of finishing in the first three.

Geraghty partners likely favourite On The Dry in the Irish Injured Jockeys Novice Hurdle following two placed efforts.

Edvaro, a Navan winner on his penultimate start, is the obvious danger.

Kashmiri Sunset and Henry Howard make most appeal in the opener.

The former is trained by Gordon Elliott - leading handler at the course for the past two seasons - and finished a decent third at Clonmel last month having scored on the flat for former trainer Ed Giles prior to his sale for £150,000.

Walsh partners Henry Howard for Willie Mullins and the horse is fitted with a tongue strap for the first time after two undistinguished efforts over hurdles.

The locally trained pair Charlie Mon and Rock On Westie could have place prospects.

Cerca Trova - winner of her last two starts and a previous C&D winner - looks a banker on today's card to complete the hat-trick with Jim Dreaper's string presently in top form.

Davyroy finish fourth at Down Royal while Waltz Legend - a three time points winner - is fitted with blinkers for the first time and either could complete the forecast.

Hedgeinator - with top local amateur rider Steven Clements in the saddle - looks a good bet in the Toals Hunter Chase.

Quite Account, trained at Crossgar by Colin McBratney, is progressing nicely and could give Hedgeinator most to do while Not Before Eight is a previous course winner.

Kilcolman won his last points race while Celtic Thunder was runner-up at Armagh last week.

Coole Craft gets the vote in the Northern Region Thoroughbred Breeders Handicap Hurdle.

Moondance, a winner on the flat at Navan in September, could supply the danger.

The concluding bumper appears a match between Carrig Cathal and Master Of Verse.

Smooth River, trained by Stuart Crawford, finished third in a Leopardstown bumper and holds place prospects.

Post racing there will be Cheltenham Chat, sponsored by Toals Bookmakers and hopefully highlighting Festival winners with top Racing Post journalist David Jennings the star attraction among the experts.

TODAY'S DOWNPATRICK TIPS: 2.05 Kashmiri Sunset 2.35 Miss Me Now 3.10 On The Dry 3.45 Coole Craft 4.20 Cerca Trova (nap) 4.55 Hedgeinator (double) 5.30 Carrig Cathal

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