The racing bandwagon inches forward hoping that this method of social distancing and keeping to strict guidelines can continue.
A maiden hurdle to kick things off and working out which ones are going to be best suited to conditions as this is a valuable little contest with £20,000 on offer. Barnabiddaun represents the David and Tom Mullins combination and David Mullins’ confidence will be high after a good winner at Thurles on ITV racing. We saw this horse run a belter last time at Leopardstown and previously at Fairyhouse so he has to have every chance and I’m siding with him to win here over the hurdling newcomer Vinnie is busy.
The Very Man won last time at Naas and only confirmed the promise of his previous runs. This lad races prominently which suits a track like Downpatrick and I fancy him to win. However, I don’t think it’s going to be straightforward as this is a good little race and I think Road to Dubai will run well here. He is a very good each-way bet if you don’t fancy The Very Man.
A Handicap Hurdle up next and Henry de Bromhead has his team in great form so it’s hard to ignore the claims of Accidental Rebel who has knocked on the door his last few starts. Hugh Morgan takes an extra 7lb off which will help. Bread and Butter will have supporters but I just think Henry’s horse will outdo him.
The Ulster National and last years winner Amaulino will struggle to retain the crown on this year’s form. Cappacurry Zak comes here on the back of a very good win at Navan and only up 6lbs for that. This son of Arakan is ticking all the right boxes. The only box that he doesn’t tick is a win at this track.
Cheb de Kerviniou has been really consistent and Rachael Blackmore retains the ride, having been narrowly beaten by favourite Ifucatchmenow at Naas last time and I think she can get revenge here. I think the biggest danger will be Jimmil for Gavin and Jonathan Moore. A last time out win at Navan reads well but got a hefty hike in the ratings for that so I am sticking with Rachael’s Mount.
I always think this track is a specialist job and Canadian Steel definitely fits that bill. He has won three of his four races here and even though he was well beaten the last two times he has to be given a chance as an each-way play, back at his favourite track. Two runs over hurdles to blow the cobwebs off and back over fences now he can be there at the business end here.
A Maiden Hunters Chase and I am going for the jockey booking of Jamie Codd and Complete Sizing. He will surely be happier on this ground and can get the better of unbeaten On The Sod
Hard to look past the favourite, Ballyadam, in the bumper as the winner of the Navan race ran really well in the Cheltenham Festival Bumper. Sticking with Jamie Codd again.
*All odds correct at time of posting