5 to thrive at Downpatrick on Sunday


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Rachael Blackmore has enjoyed a fine purple patch of late and can continue her winning run with success on TRENDY LADY in the opening 2-mile 3-furlong Mares Maiden Hurdle at Downpatrick. The daughter of Kayf Tara has plenty of experience after five starts over hurdles which included second-place finishes at Wexford and here at this venue in recent months. She was well ahead of both Neat Locality and Bella Bliss over course and distance last month and that’s good enough to take this race.

John McConnell won this contest last year with Ally Cay and I can see Bella Bliss reversing the form with Liam Kenny’s runner on this occasion. Elsewhere, Coole Og returns from a break having made bad mistakes when pulled up for the Willie Mullins team at Bellewstown last month. This track might suit better having previously won a bumper at Tramore, while Happy D’ex is another who should challenge now back here having slipped up late on behind Dani Barcelona back in June.

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DOLLAR VALUE is worth a punt to land this Rated Hurdle for a second straight year with Tom McCourt’s runner looking for a fourth victory at Downpatrick. The son of Exchange Rate has more than paid his way for connections having won here over fences and twice previously over hurdles. His latest win came back in June with the form of that race enhanced by the subsequent victory of Britzka at Perth last week.

He’s improved vastly on ratings compared to last year’s winning mark and there’s no better jockey around than Danny Mullins to make sure the start goes according to plan. Elsewhere, Soviet Pimpernel is one of two runners for Robcour with cheekpieces now fitted for the first time. Zarkareva, who was taken out of a race at Galway last week returns to hurdling also for that team, while Wild Shot and Uhtred are others in contention in an open looking affair.

PARK HIND produced her best finish over hurdles when just beaten a nose at Ballinrobe last month and can break her maiden in this 2-mile 6-furlong Mares Handicap Hurdle. Charlie O’Dwyer keeps the ride and despite a 2Ib rise in the ratings, Andrew Lynch’s runner can score with the benefit of first time cheekpieces. She receives plenty of weight from 116-rated Motown Maggie, who returns for Gordon Elliott having been off the track since April.

She’s been ultra-consistent for connections but hasn’t managed to get her head back in front since her maiden hurdle success at Fairyhouse last November. Elsewhere, April’s Joy looks the dark horse with Kieren Buckley taking off 5Ibs on a horse who’s been dropping down the ratings of late and has previous course form. Kilbeggan winner Some Dove for Henry De Bromhead and James Motherway’s Merry Poppins look the other two most likely to reach the frame.

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REXEM should relish the step-up in trip and land this 2-mile 6-furlong Maiden Hurdle for John McConnell on his second start over hurdles. The son of Leading Light looks a future chaser and can improve for his debut third over hurdles behind Merlin Giant at Galway. The former Damma House point-to-point winner will appreciate the better ground and has previous course form at Downpatrick having won a bumper here last month.

The Gordon Elliott duo of Westcoastinformant and Ask Philip are the obvious dangers with Jordan Gainford’s mount looking the more interesting of the two in my opinion. The son of Ask stayed on nicely from a long way back at Limerick and the step-up in trip along with first-time blinkers can only help his chances. Jack Kennedy rides Westcoastinformant again following his second to Perceval Legallois at Wexford and it’s hard to see him not being involved.

Matthew Smith won this race with Miracle Way in 2016 and can get one over both Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliot by landing this closing bumper with MOONOVERCLOON. The son of Sea Moon produced a lovely run behind What Path on return at Galway having previously been off the track since a promising fourth over hurdles at Navan last December. The form of that race before Christmas was subsequently enhanced with graded wins for both Highland Charge and The Goffer.

Gordon Elliott is another trainer with previous success in this race, winning three of the past 10 renewals of this bumper. Nottodaybobo represents the Cullentra House team on this occasion and should improve for his debut second to Kinbara at Killarney last month. Elsewhere, Moon Rise Beauty is the other leading contender with Willie Mullins’ mare hoping to improve from a poor performance at Wexford on her latest start.

Sunday Downpatrick tips

14:30 Trendy Lady
15:00 Dollar Value
16:00 Park Hind
16:30 Rexem
17:30 Moonovercloon (NAP)

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