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Phill Anderson has three tips from the Down royal card on Saturday
  1. Horse Racing
  2. Horse Racing Tips

Horse Racing Tips: Phill Anderson's Down Royal tips

Down Royal's Champion Chase meeting kicks off on Friday and the Racing Post's Phill Anderson has a trio of selections on the day one card.

It's massive two days at Northern Ireland's premier jumps circuit and Gordon Elliott introduces exciting hurdles newcomer American Mike in the opening race on Friday. The Cullentra supremo should taste plenty success at Down Royal over the coming 48 hours. 

12.55 Down Royal

True Destiny @ SP

1pt each-way

2.05 Down Royal

Pied Piper @ 5/6

1pt win

2.40 Down Royal

Gladiatorial @ 6/1

1pt each-way

More to come from True Destiny

There are some quality graded races on the card at Down Royal on Friday including a pair of Grade 2 contests but the Lough Construction Ltd. Handicap Hurdle (12.55) makes plenty of appeal as a betting heat with 20 runners declared.

A case can be made for plenty of them in this field, but the one that makes most appeal is last time out winner, True Destiny, who won so impressively at Sligo a fortnight ago when coming from a long way back.

The seven-year-old was a useful performer on the Flat in Britain for Roger Charlton back in his pomp, winning from a mark of 86 at his peak and he showed he might have a bright future over obstacles when recording a comfortable success latest.

He stayed on well that day, shaping like a further step up in distance to this three mile trip could suit, and a 9lb rise looks on the lenient side given the manner in which he landed that contest.

The big danger and likely favourite is Menindee who arrives on the back of a career-best chase success. She's entitled to run a big race from the same mark reverting to hurdles, but there has to be a concern that she's done all her winning on good ground, conditions she's unlikely to get here, with further rain forecast before the off.

Piper can call the tune

There are five runners declared for the Grade 2 WKD Hurdle (2.05) later on the card but it looks like a match between stablemates Fil Dor and Pied Piper, on a day when Gordon Elliott appears to have a host of strong chances. 

There was very little to separate the pair of them last season when they both chased home Vauban in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, with less than a length separating them in second and third. 

However, Pied Piper was disadvantaged by making his challenge further away from the nearside rail that day, a bias that has become more prominent in recent seasons, and Fil Dor had a more straightforward trip in that clash.

For the rematch, Pied Piper has the benefit of a recent run, a winning return at Cheltenham last month, and there could be even more to come from him if he can settle better this time.

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Gladiatorial may be underestimated

An early price of 6/1 with bet365 looks generous for Gladiatorial in the handicap chase on the card (2.40). He was only caught close to home when posting a career-best at Kelso last month and he looked rock solid in the jumping department on just his fourth chase start.

That was a personal best effort, just tiring in the closing stages having seen off most of his challengers, and the horse that beat him looks like a smart prospect going forward.

He runs from his 4lb lower Irish mark this time and seems to have been underestimated, particularly with four places on offer.

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