Gordon Elliott discusses his six Thursday runners as the Christmas racing festivals continue at Leopardstown and Limerick...
12.20 Leopardstown - Flaxen Flare, Bayan
Flaxen Flare won a flat handicap last time out for Andrew Balding at Nottingham in October but this is his first race for our yard. He's schooling well over hurdles at home so I hope he shows it on the racecourse. He's a nice horse but he's still learning and he should come on for this race as he gains experience. I'm expecting Bayan to improve on his latest race at Gowran (seventh of 12 runners). Again, he's fairly new to the yard so we are still learning about him and like Flaxen Flare, he should come on for the run.
14.35 Leopardstown - Discoteca
We gave him a spin on the all-weather at Dundalk recently to clear the windpipes. He had a tough enough race at the Galway Festival when fourth in a novice hurdle carrying a 10lb penalty but he's in good form at home. He's not without a chance but to be honest, the ground doesn't look ideal and he'd prefer if it dried out a bit more.
15.10 Leopardstown - Romanesco, Tharawaat
Romanesco came ninth in the Troytown at Navan last time but he just didn't seem to be acting on the ground for some reason that day and he made a mistake two out. Previously, he had a good win at Fakenham on soft ground and he's in good form at home so it would be good to see him run a big one. It's a tough race to win however and there are a good few in the race with strong claims. Tharawaat also ran in the Troytown last time coming fifth and he looks a proper staying type. However I'd be a little concerned that the ground is actually not soft enough for this lad as some of his best form comes on heavy ground.
15.55 Limerick - Pumped Up Kicks
She was fourth in a maiden hurdle at Limerick last time which was encouraging and at one stage it looked like she was going to win. It was her first race under rules and she should come on for the experience. She probably just got a little tired in the closing stages but it's given us something to work with and she's in with a good each-way chance here.