Gordon Elliott targets Royal Ascot success with Pallasator

Trainer is saddling 13 at Down Royal’s jumps fixture and two on the flat at Limerick

Gordon Elliot: he enjoyed a hat-trick on his last foray north at Downpatrick on Sunday. Photograph: Getty Images

Gordon Elliot: he enjoyed a hat-trick on his last foray north at Downpatrick on Sunday. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Gordon Elliott targets more Royal Ascot success on Saturday, and will hope to warm up with a profitable visit to Down Royal on Friday evening.

Elliott broke his Royal Ascot duck in 2016 when Commissioned won the Queen Alexandra Stakes, and relies on Pallasator for the same marathon event which winds up the world famous meeting.

Jockey Jamie Spencer, who won the Ebor in 2010 for Elliott on board Dirar, teams up for the first time with Pallasator. The famously quirky horse looked transformed during a successful winter campaign over hurdles, including when successful in a Grade Two at Fairyhouse during the Easter festival.

With Willie Mullins set to saddle three in the Queen Alexandra – including the likely favourite Thomas Hobson – the race will have a definite National Hunt feel, although Elliott’s great rival has a rare blank between Ireland’s two meetings on Friday.

In contrast, Elliott, who endured a slow period immediately after the Punchestown festival, is in action with a vengeance, saddling 13 at Down Royal’s jumps fixture and two on the flat at Limerick.

The Gold Cup and Grand National winning trainer enjoyed a hat-trick on his last foray north at Downpatrick on Sunday, another encouraging sign that a brief spell of illness in the yard is in the past.

Elliott has four runners in Friday’s conditions hurdle alone, and on a fast surface The Game Changer looks like he could be the quickest of them. Park Paddocks can prove the Elliott pick in a later handicap hurdle.

Just four line up for a mile conditions event at Limerick, and it looks a good opportunity for the Listowel winner True To Herself. She comfortably beat Zoffaniya last time, and that one scored easily at Sligo on Tuesday.

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