Jonathan Moore on the key things to note for Downpatrick on Sunday

Joint-leading rider at the track this season hoping for handicap hurdle success with Bread And Butter

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Jonathan Moore - seen here with My Newbrook Rose at Thurles on Saturday - knows the unique demands at Downpatrick better than most

The demands of Downpatrick are unique and Jonathan Moore, the joint-leading rider at the track this season alongside Sean Flanagan, is better placed than most to advise what is needed to win at the County Down venue, writes Brian Sheerin.

Downpatrick may have more in common with a rollercoaster than it does a racecourse, but you won't hear any jockeys complaining about making the long trek up north to ride given the top-notch ground often available.

Asked what is needed to excel around Downpatrick, Moore, who has fired home five winners at a 24 per cent strike-rate at the track this season, said: “Nine times out of ten you want to be riding the track handily. Get your breathers going up the hill, get them slowly going down the hill and be ready to kick coming up the hill.

“You need a horse who stays well and one who will handle the undulations. Not every horse will handle the twists and turns of Downpatrick – it's a nimble, well-balanced horse you need.”

Downpatrick may not appear to be one for the faint-hearted on television but the professional approach taken by groundstaff elevates it to being one of the more enjoyable tracks to ride at for jockeys, says Moore.

“For a track that's so tight, the hurdles and fences are actually really well positioned and I think it's a lovely track to ride.

"The ground at Downpatrick is up there with the best ground you'd get anywhere else in the country. They always have it safe and they do the best job they can with a relatively tight space.”

Moore added: “It's like a rollercoaster. But, riding around tracks like that, it makes you use your head. You never want to move on one at Downpatrick. You always want to be holding on to one at the top of the hill before you turn down.

"Ideally, you'd want to have got your breathers in by the top of the hill and let them slow down it before quickening up the hill. It's great when it works out like that."

Moore has some solid chances of stretching his good run at the track and identified Bread And Butter, trained by his boss Gavin Cromwell, as being his best chance of another winner in the 2m2f handicap hurdle (2.40).

He said: “He's a little ball of muscle and I'd be hoping Downpatrick will suit him well as he's nimble and well-balanced and seems to stay well. I'd be hopeful and he's probably my best chance.”

Not every horse will handle the twists and turns of Downpatrick – it's a nimble, well-balanced horse you need.

- Jonathan Moore

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