Racing guru Steven Dowler casts his eye over Sunday’s £5,000 Place 6 at Downpatrick. He reckons that On The Sod is looking very likely to remain unbeaten. If you agree with his Downpatrick betting tips then click here to join his Syndicate.
13.40 – Maiden Hurdle
Gavin Cromwell has a decent strike rate around this track and WAVELENGTH can be expected to be in the thick of the action. His bumper form is strong and, despite not making an impact on all hurdles starts so far, this looks a good opportunity for him to be on the scene at the business end of the race with more improvement to come.
VINNIE IS BUSY won by eight lengths on debut and was far from disgraced when fourth last time, having attempted to make all against a couple of above average sorts. If translating his bumper form to hurdles, there is a good chance he could prove too good for this field.
My final pick is BARNAVIDDAUN, who is David Mullins only ride on the card. His bumper form reads very well and his last two runs have seen him take the silver medal and the form of either those two performances makes him the one to beat.
Downpatrick betting tips: WAVELENGTH, VINNIE IS BUSY, BARNAVIDDAUN
14.10 – WKD Hurdle
Gordon Elliott holds a strong hand in this race and ROAD TO DUBAI should go well. A useful sort when trained on the flat in the UK, this six-year-old has the best form on offer, never finishing out of the top four on all starts for this yard. He has placed three times behind the likes of Fakir D’oudairies and Darver Star, which is more than good enough form to win this. He comfortably got off the mark last time out at Perth and, with his rider claiming a valuable 5lb, you would like to think he can make a huge impact here.
Davy Russell remains aboard THE VERY MAN, who also got off the mark last time nicely and his form behind Francin and Concertista has been boosted with both of those winning since. The ground and trip will be of no issue and he looks a very solid alternative selection to add on our ticket.
Downpatrick betting tips: ROAD TO DUBAI, THE VERY MAN
14.40 – Handicap Hurdle
Not an appealing race by any means. Even so, ACCIDENTAL REBEL looks worth chancing on our ticket.
Henry De Bromhead is going great guns at present and his claimer here rides this track well. This six-year-old has shown useful form over shorter trip and this longer trip could unlock further improvement with proven form on this surface.
Oliver Mckiernan is another trainee going well at present and CAPPUCCINO MAN may need this outing but his form stacks up well at this level and if running to a similar level he shown previously at this track with conditions no problem then he could represent some value.
BREAD AND BUTTER didn’t show much until moved into handicap company, which included a decent enough second last time out and being lightly raced, there is a good reason to believe he can go one better for Gavin Cromwell and Jonathan Moore.
Downpatrick betting tips: ACCIDENTAL REBEL, CAPPUCCINO MAN, BREAD OR BUTTER
15.10 – Ulster National Handicap Chase
The feature race of the day and with a trip of 3m4f on soft to heavy ground, plenty of stamina and a touch of class will be needed.
CHEB DE KERVINIOU has shown solid form in all four starts for Gordon Elliott. He was a good horse on this kind of ground when trained in France and has not been beaten far in each outing since coming to Ireland. The 10-year-old was third behind Ifyoucatchmenow in the grand national trial beaten just a couple of lengths when conceding 10lb to the winner before improving again to finish second in the leinster national last time. He receives a huge pull in the weights with the Willie Mullins runner this time and is expected to be in the thick of the action under Rachael Blackmore.
Paul Townend and Willie Mullins make a rare visit to the track and IFYOUCATCHMENOW was a good winner of the grand national trial last time out. He is up 8lb for today’s race but looks an out-and-out stayer and must have a chance of following from that success.
I think JIMMIL could be a dark horse for the contest. His first three runs over fences were interesting, chasing home the likes of Allaho, Minella Indo and Billaway who all performed very well at the Cheltenham Festival recently and he was last seen comfortably despatching and odds-on favourite over three miles on heavy going. Gavin Cromwell seems eager to let him roll over this unknown trip and therefore, I think Jimmil is worth a second look.
Downpatrick betting tips: CHEB DE KERVINIOU, IFYOUCATCHMENOW, JIMMIL
15.40 – Handicap Chase
Few of these make limited appeal as they are very inconsistent with a poor overall strike rate. Nevertheless, CANADIAN STEEL probably makes most appeal having won around here three times previously and his actual record at the track reads – 292141148. Although the ground might be a concern, it would be ludicrous to ignore this course specialist who knows his way around here more than the remainder of the field.
Veteran CAPTURE THE DRAMA has a patchy record these days but it is hard to ignore on the peak of his form which resulted with multiple victories over fences and he is now 15lb lower than when last successful. If this return to further suits him then he could represent decent each-way claims. Bearing in mind, STOUGHAN CROSS doesn’t show consistent form but the one thing he does know what to do is win with the latest of those being off just 1lb lower mark.
Downpatrick betting tips: CANADIAN STEEL, CAPTURE THE DRAMA, STOUGHAN CROSS
16.10 – Hunters Chase
We round off the Place 6 with a competitive hunter chase which is the penultimate race on the card and ON THE SOD could take plenty of beating. He is 3-3 in point-to-point races, with the latest of those by a wide-margin and he has the assistance of Cheltenham Festival winning rider Rob James on board. On The Sod could be a more than a useful recruit to regulation fences and is taken to remain unbeaten.
Downpatrick betting tips: ON THE SOD
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