Dancing Meadows one to beat at Downpatrick

Two meetings in Ireland today, where the national-hunt fare goes ahead at Downpatrick and Dancing Meadows can get off the mark over hurdles in the opening race.

The Gordon Elliott-trained mare won two bumpers and wasn’t disgraced in the listed national hunt flat race at Cheltenham. She has taken time to get her act together over obstacles, but her most recent effort, at Perth, was the most encouraging of her five outings to date, and this doesn’t look a particularly tough maiden.

Declared to wear a hood for the first time, if that ekes out further improvement, she’ll take plenty of beating.

The danger may come from Supreme Vinnie, who won his bumper at Clonmel and showed promise on his hurdling debut at the same track, this month. He’s entitled to improve from that experience and should reach the frame.

Zigger Zagger can take the Strictly For Beginners Chase, for trainer Noel Meade and jockey Ger Fox. The six-year-old was a beaten favourite on his chasing debut at Down Royal back in March and fell when looking held at Kilbeggan on his most recent start.

He has a little to prove, but has the scope , and today’s ground and trip should hold no fears for him. As with the opening maiden hurdle, this race looks there for the taking and he can land the spoils at the expense of Vinniespride.

At Dundalk, Birdcage can concede lumps of weight to her rivals in the Irishinjuredjockeys.com Nursery. The Ger-Lyons-trained filly recorded her sole success on her only previous start at this track and, subsequently, has run well in defeat in decent turf races. She looks the type to develop over winter, and could be a smart sprinter next year but, for now, looks up to the task of beating today’s rivals, headed by Nice And Dandy and China Eyes.


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