Dancing Meadows to enhance Elliott's Downpatrick record
Downpatrick is one of Gordon Elliott's most lucrative hunting grounds and the Meath trainer can get today's proceedings underway with a win courtesy of Dancing Meadows.
Of the handlers with runners, Willie Mullins' 16 winners for a 31pc strike-rate is the closest anyone gets to Elliott's 42 wins for 22pc in the same five-year period at the track.
Elliott has five chances to add to that fine ratio, and Dancing Meadows appeals as nap material.
On her latest outing at Perth, the Alhaarth mare caught the eye when second to Jalingo.
That constituted by far her best run since she won two bumpers in England in the summer of 2014 so, if she can build on it again now, she should land the two-and-a-quarter-mile maiden hurdle under Bryan Cooper.
Mullins' Pearl Diamond, such a disappointment at Galway, is likely to give the selection plenty to think about if she recaptures her best form, while Supreme Vinnie, Banker Burke and Rathmuck Native have claims.
Elliott and Cooper should also go close with Spicy Fruity in the longer maiden hurdle, but preferred in that is Barrack Street.
Keith Clarke's six-year-old has had its only two track starts here, finishing in the frame on both occasions. On Barrack Street's latest visit last month, he kept on well to get within a length of Kilclispeen, and the pair drew a long way clear of the remainder.
If he runs to a similar level under Jonathan Moore now, he ought to take a bit of beating.
In the bumper, Elliott's Tajseer will figure prominently, but Liz Doyle's Whizzzey Rascal had its measure here last time when second to Boris De Blae, which has since won tidily over hurdles at Listowel. With Finny Maguire up, Whizzzey Rascal is going to take plenty stopping now.
At Dundalk tonight, the Tommy Stack-trained Aspar is a maiden taking on winners in a two-year-olds' race, but his performances in defeat have been noteworthy.
Second to the subsequent Group winner Final Frontier on its Curragh bow, Aspar was then just touched off by Moral High Ground at Navan. The third, Go Kart, has since won well, so Aspar's credentials look pretty solid.