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Townend set to rule on classy Kingdom 

By Ron McKnight

Mountain Kingdom can supply a local victory in the Giltspur Hurdle at Downpatrick with former champion jockey Paul Townend aboard, fresh from success at Down Royal.

Townend won on Bobarlee at the Maze on Friday night and can repeat the trick at Downpatrick on Mountain Kingdom, trained in Crossgar by Colin McBratney. 

Field Of Light and Simiel are the dangers, however, the Newry owned horse has finished runner-up in his last two races at Perth for connections.

Aurora’s Dream won on her penultimate start at the track beating Maighnealta which re opposes in the Murphy Jewellers Hurdle.

Leading trainer at the course Gordon Elliott is doubly represented with Canny Town and Canova, while the locally trained Presenting Julio is unraced since finishing third on the all-weather at Dundalk, however, Aurora’s Dream is taken to give trainer Gerry Keane a repeat success.

Urtheoneiwant, Coolfighter, Our Brian, Tellthemnuttin and Vote Of Confidence — the latter a winner at the Maze on Friday — ensure a competitive affair in the Downe Travel Hurdle.

Coolfighter has been in excellent form while Tellthemnuttin recorded back to back victories at the course in May, but was disqualified on the second occasion when the jockey forced his way through in the straight.

Vote Of Confidence can score again if beating the last named, while Baily Smile is notable being a rare runner at the venue for Aintree Grand National winning trainer Mouse Morris. 

Bertie Bell trained beside the course by Brian Hamilton can claim the long distance handicap hurdle if accounting for the Elliott trained Blue Empyrean with the local handler having booked Davy Russell to ride.

Punters will be pleased with the return of chasing at the track, having been absent at recent fixtures.

Mustadrik gets the vote in the Magners Beginners Chase having twice finished runner-up in better company last winter.

The selection is one of two trained by Gordon Elliott in the race — the trainer also represented by Isabella Liberty, while Odit,third over hurdles on his last two visits to the course, starts his chasing career. 

Sam King cantered round the track to win a maiden hurdle earlier this month while the locally owned Wes Hardin is another with place prospects. 

Arthur Moore registered a winner at the last meeting and Mitebeall ForLuck has claims in the handicap chase were Drumhart, Myles Ahead and Meldrum Lad appear the dangers. 

Only five line up for the finale and Bridge Native has most to fear from newcomer, Duffgil Joe trained by Gordon Elliott.


DOWNPATRICK TIPS: 3.00 Mountain Kingdom 3.35 Aurora’s Dream 4.10 Vote Of Confidence 4.45 Bertie Bell 5.15 Mustadrik 5.50 Mitebeall Forluck 6.20 Bridge Native

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