Gordon Elliott set for busy day at home and abroad
Paudi The Punter set to go close at Down Royal
Trainer Gordon Elliott
Nobody is set for a busier St Stephen’s Day racing programme than Gordon Elliott who aims for King George VI Chase glory with Mount Benbulben as well as having runners at all three meetings in Ireland.
The Co Meath trainer sends four to Down Royal including a new recruit in Paudi The Punter who can take advantage of a potentially attractive mark in the two and a half mile handicap chase. Robbie McNally’s mount disappointed over hurdles last time, but has soft ground form, and a rating over fences that’s lot lower than over flights.
He didn’t show much in two chase starts last year but his overall profile suggests a horse that can go close in this sort of company. The Down Royal feature is the Albert Bartlett Hunters Chase and another clash between old rivals Salsify and Tammys Hill, with On The Fringe and Joncol thrown in for good measure.
Tammys Hill beat Salsify in this race last year and soft ground conditions, plus a point to point win at the start of the month, look to give the local runner the advantage again.
Another local trainer, Stuart Crawford, secured a Grade Two prize on appeal at the Turf Club on Friday when Fine Rightly was promoted past Royal Caviar and he may have the satisfaction of a winner on the day with Man With Van.
The opening Beginners Chase looks a decent contest with a few holding legitimate claims although Rye Martini’s 133 rating, and his proven ability to win on soft ground, makes a convincing argument in his favour. Jockey Mikey Fogarty could later double up with Is Love Alive.