RUBY WALSH might have committed to staying at home to ride for Willie Mullins this term, but the champion trainer's family-owned horses remain largely off limits.
Understandably enough, Mullins' son Patrick has ridden all bar one of the 27 winners that have sported his mother Jackie's colours over the past five seasons, and today the champion amateur rider has also chosen to keep it in the family by employing his cousin Emmet for Dr Schultz at Downpatrick.
The Dr Massini five-year-old carried its owner to a resounding bumper victory at Kilbeggan last month, and it is hard to see past him in this afternoon's curtain-raising two-and-a-quarter-mile maiden hurdle.
Walsh is on his father Ted's Rossvoss, which is probably Dr Schultz's chief rival in the modest 10-runner contest.
A creditable seventh behind Edeymi in the big amateur riders' race at Galway, Rossvoss has been largely disappointing, so much so that the progressive Dr Schultz appeals as nap material alongside him now.
Mullins and Walsh are reunited with Zadarska in the longer Fran Murrin Memorial Maiden Hurdle, but preferred in that is Sam Da Vinci. Representing Tony and Danny Mullins, Sam Da Vinci has consistently displayed a reasonable level of ability, with the form of his fifth to Golden Wonder at Bellewstown in July holding up quite well.
Should Tony Martin's Lancing reappear in the two-mile-five-furlong handicap hurdle following yesterday's Cork exertions, Walsh ought to get among the winners, while his excellent sister Katie gets the nod in the bumper on their father's Old Castletown.
Eoin Doyle's consistent Waylander is the danger in this under the similarly astute Jane Mangan, but Old Castletown is a less exposed sort.
Having hinted at ability in two maiden hurdles, he found only Time For A Pint too good on his bumper debut at Sligo, so should take plenty stopping here if he makes similar progress again now.
In the shorter handicap hurdle, Goresbridge handler Pat Delaney might bag his first winner for most of five years with The Gnathologist.
David Splaine's mount ran its best race for some time when second to Trazar at Tramore recently, a performance that suggested he might be poised to exploit a favourable-looking handicap mark.