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Trainer Gordon Elliott can win for fun at Downpatrick

By Ron McKnight

Racing at Downpatrick this afternoon provides an exciting backdrop to the course's Family Day fixture with multiple attractions for families and children provided by the track.

Trainer Gordon Elliott is on course to retain his leading trainer status at the venue, having registered 10 winners this year and can add to the tally today.

Cecil Corbett, with Paul Carberry booked to ride, represents the leading trainer in the opener and can end a run of four consecutive seconds.

While the Elliott runner is the likely favourite, Rufino a narrow runner-up to Moonmeister last month, and also trained by Elliott, poses a threat along with Ballybryan, previously third in a bumper at the course.

Vercingetorix is another testing the County Meath trainer's skill in getting his head in form but Elliott appears to have found an ideal opportunity in the Conditions Hurdle for the horse, partnered by teenage rising star Jack Kennedy, a triple Champion on the pony racing circuit.

The top rated runner, Rae's Creek, has been absent for almost a year and possibly Theatre Mill could complete the forecast.

Show And Go, Authorative, Couleur De La Loi and an Capall Mor hold most appeal in the Handicap Hurdle with the last named a winner at Perth last time for Gordon Elliott while Couleur De La Loi ran well enough at Bellewstown last week to offer each way value.

However, Elliott's runner can supply the trainer with a possible hat-trick at the meeting.

Ultimate Horseman and Top Of The Town appear the principals in the long distance Maiden Hurdle with the latter trained by Charles Byrne and the mount of Paul Townend just preferred to the former, representing Gordon Elliott.

Tony Martin has booked former Irish Champion jumps jockey Paul Townend for his runner, Twenty Four Years, in the Mares Maiden hurdle and the locally owned runner boasts the best from credentials in the contest.

The Elliott trained Speedbird One which has placed efforts on the level in Britain has been absent for almost a year but cannot be dismissed. However, the Colin Bowe trained Theatre Mole, with Mark Walsh aboard, could supply the main danger.

The long distance Handicap Hurdle looks the most competitive contest on the card and the locally owned and trained Personal Shopper would be a popular winner. Trained at Ballyclare by Harry Smyth, the mare has formed an excellent partnership with rider Rachael Blackmore and twice finished a narrow runner-up in recent efforts but failed to fire at Sligo on Friday evening.

Albarta won over fences at the course last month, Camila's Wish comes from Jim Dreaper's in form stable and Broughtons Bandit, following two good efforts at the local track, won at Perth for the Elliott team but Personal Shopper gets the vote to provide a local success.

A weak concluding bumper appears to offer another chance for father and son pair Willie and Patrick Mullins to record success in these events with Taylors Storm placed third on his sole start, albeit in March of last year.

The locally trained trio Bedford Forrest, Canadian Steel and Onemorezero all have form in Ulster point to points with the last named offering an alternative to the likely favourite.

Selections: 3.00 Cecil Corbett; 3.35 Vercingetorix 4.10; Twenty Four Years 4.45; An Capall Mor 5.15; Top Of The Town 5.45; Personal Shopper; 6.15 Taylors Storm

Belfast Telegraph


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