Team Mullins can hit Cork hat-trick
RUBY WALSH and Patrick Mullins, who sit first and second at this early stage in the jump jockeys' championship, should add to their tallies at Cork this evening.
Both men are on duty for Mullins' champion trainer father Willie, and it may be that Walsh's lead of four over his amateur colleague will be marginally reduced by the close of play.
Mullins should collect on the facile Kilbeggan scorer Tasitiocht in the concluding winners' bumper, while he also has a decent squeak on the debutant Digeanta in the preceding edition.
Walsh's chances are less clear-cut, though Dare To Doubt does appeal as a likely victor of the Dermot Casey Tree Care Hurdle.
Recent winners Whatuthink and Whodoyouthink both line out in this two-and-a-half-miler for Dublin-based Oliver McKiernan's in-form team, with Whatuthink particularly appealing after his front-running rout in a similar race in the North.
The Jessica Harrington-trained Alpine Eagle is another with claims, but it is Dare To Doubt that comes out best at the weights.
Officially assessed at just a pound lower than the top-rated Whatuthink, Mullins' mare receives between seven and 13lbs from her five rivals.
On paper, that makes her an irresistible proposition, and she will be plenty fit after a couple of spins on the Flat. When last seen over flights at Cheltenham, the three-time hurdle winner ran a fair race behind Quevega, so a reproduction of that ought to be good enough now.
In the subsequent maiden hurdle, Walsh is on Champagne Agent for Mullins, but preferred in that is In The Well, which represents Monkstown's Tom and Audra Busteed.
A Listowel bumper winner that looked in need of the experience on his hurdling bow at Gowran Park last month, the Flemensfirth gelding should appreciate the step up to three miles here.
At the opposite end of the country in Downpatrick, Somethingdifferent is this afternoon's nap in the two-and-a-quarter-mile maiden hurdle for Harrington and Robbie Power.
Placed on his last two starts, having only returned from over a year off in May, the six-year-old's profile looks far more progressive than anything else's in what is a poor 15-runner heat.
Earlier, Gold Ability, a course bumper winner that was third to Don Cossack at Fairyhouse, will take plenty of stopping in another maiden, while local handler Brian Hamilton can go close in the bumper with Bobbina.
Third in a Down Royal hurdle from which the second, Letherbelucky, has followed with a win, Declan Lavery's mount is the pick of those that have run.