Pre-Cheltenham nerves won’t hold Geraghty and Cooper back

Duo in search of pre-festival confidence at Downpatrick

Gordon Elliott and Bryan Cooper etc. Inpho.

Gordon Elliott and Bryan Cooper etc. Inpho.

 

The traditional nervous Cheltenham countdown for Ireland’s top jockeys isn’t preventing Barry Geraghty and Bryan Cooper from going into action at Downpatrick on Wednesday while trainer Gordon Elliott can secure a pre-festival confidence boost in the finale with his new recruit Alberta.

It is Elliott who provides Cooper with his sole ride of the meeting on board the ex-Mouse Morris-trained Akorakor in the opener. But this horse has been largely disappointing and could be vulnerable even in a moderate contest.

Geraghty also teams up with Elliott for Antilope Du Seuil in the mares maiden hurdle but this one has been disappointing since coming from France and has ground to make up on Emcon from December.

Willie Mullins sends one runner north, the newcomer Hot On Her Heels in the bumper, although this one has a tough opponent in Alberta who belied long odds on his debut at Cork in November and has since joined Elliott.

And Adrian Heskin, who has one ride at Downpatrick, has lodged an appeal against the two-day suspension he picked up at Leopardstown on Saturday after he won a handicap chase on She’s Got Grit.

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