It's a busy weekend for Betfair Ambassador Gordon Elliott starting with five runners at Punchestown on Saturday afternoon...
13.35 Punchestown - Karinga Queen, Dont Back Down
Karinga Queen was a good fourth of 11 runners in a handicap chase won by Tarquinius at Fairyhouse last time out and I'm pretty pleased with that performance as she had been a bit behind in training. She'll probably come on for the run here but Davy (O'Leary) claims 7lbs which should be useful and she has reasonable each-way claims. Dont Back Down looks badly handicapped with topweight but he's in good form at home so we'll let him take his chances. The trip should suit and I hope he runs a nice race but as I say, he looks badly handicapped so he won't have it all his own way.
14.10 Punchestown - Flaxen Flare
I was delighted with his win at Leopardstown in his first run for our yard recently and he looks promising enough having won a flat handicap for Andrew Balding back in October. Willie Mullins has a very strong hand here with Diakali and Dogora but our lad is open to improvement and he definitely won't be too far off.
15.20 Punchestown - Torn Asunder
He's a nice big horse and has been going well over hurdles lately with a good win last time out in a maiden hurdle at Down Royal. This is his first handicap so we'll have to see how he handles it but I think his mark is ok at the moment and I'm expecting another big run. It's competitive enough and we are taking nothing for granted but he's entitled to his place at the top of the market.
15.50 Punchestown - Shrapnel
He's a quirky enough horse but he's been going very well for us and has now won two out of two since coming over to our yard so I've certainly no complaints. He found plenty at Fairyhouse last time which was great and he seems to be improving all the time so I'm expecting him to run a nice race here. Again, Willie Mullins holds a strong hand but our lad will like the trip and we are in with a solid chance.