It's the final day of the Festival and Betfair Ambassador Gordon Elliott has 11 runners including his best chance of the afternoon Delta Work in the Gold Cup...
"Delta Work has a good profile for this race, he has run very well on his last two visits to this track and he is a really strong stayer so the extra couple of furlongs of the Gold Cup trip will be right up his street."
Gordon's Best Chance on Day 4 - Delta Work (15:30)
Thatsy has solid each-way chance
County Hurdle 14:10 - Thatsy & Lethal Steps
Thatsy is a nice type and I think the best is still to come from him over hurdles. After he won his maiden hurdle at Navan - beating a smart horse of Joseph O'Brien's - we felt that he could be a horse to target at some good handicaps. His first handicap run at Leopardstown over Christmas was an excellent one and, while he was unplaced next time, he ran respectably and enjoyed precious little luck in running.
He could have moved up in trip this week but I think the stiff two miles of the County Hurdle and that very long run from two out to the last will really suit him. This isn't a race that our horses have a great record in but I'd have no problem putting him forward as having a very solid each-way chance.
Lethal Steps is a horse with plenty of ability but isn't the easiest horse to predict. On all known form he has got to improve but I think he could really enjoy himself in a big field over a well run two miles. He comes here off a good break and seems very well in himself so I'm hoping he will put his best foot forward for this.
This test is right up Fury's Road street
The Albert Bartlett 14:50 - Fury Road
I'm a big fan of this horse and I'm quite happy that he is better than his last run at Leopardstown. He ran respectably that day and the winner won on merit but I just thought the ground might have been a bit lively for our horse.
Previously he won nicely over three miles at Limerick over Christmas when he coped well with the trip and testing ground. That Limerick race tends to be a good guide to this race and I think this horse has a live chance of getting into the shake up.
He's been working well and has travelled over well and the sort of test presented by this race is right up his street. I'd be disappointed if he doesn't go close and, looking further ahead, I can't wait to go chasing with him.
Delta Work can produce big run for the big race
Gold Cup 15:30 - Delta Work
We were lucky enough to win this race with Don Cossack and I do think Delta Work has a very good chance. His season didn't start well at Down Royal but he wasn't quite right after that race and we had to give him a little bit of time.
As a result I was thrilled that he was able to win at Leopardstown over Christmas off a less than ideal preparation. He then went back to Leopardstown to win the Irish Gold Cup where he produced another really nice effort and was at his strongest in the closing stages.
Whether that form is good enough to win a Gold Cup we will have to wait and see but I'm thrilled with how he has taken the transition to open company. He has a good profile for this race, he has run very well on his last two visits to this track and he is a really strong stayer so the extra couple of furlongs of the Gold Cup trip will be right up his street.
I can't mention Delta Work without a word about poor Jack (Kennedy) who misses the race with a broken leg and was brilliant on this horse on his last two starts. We have a great replacement in Mark Walsh though and I'm very hopeful of a big run as I think this race will bring out the best in our horse.
Eclair De Beaufeu arrives with a big chance
Grand Annual 16:50 - Eclair De Beaufeu & Chosen Mate
Eclair De Beaufeu (pictured below) has a live chance. After starting off over fences with a good run behind Notebook and easy win at Wexford he found things tougher in graded company and finished a couple of his race quite weakly. However, he got a good break through the winter and came back to win a good handicap chase over this trip at Leopardstown last time. I think he is coming here with a big chance and he is working nicely so there is a chance that he can step forward from what he did at Leopardstown. Sean O'Keeffe's five pounds claim is a big help too.
Chosen Mate is quite interesting. I wasn't sure how effective he would be on testing ground through the winter so I was pleasantly surprised by how well he coped with heavy ground to win a beginner's chase in good style at Gowran towards the end of January.
He is a good jumper who isn't short of pace and I think a truly run two miles handicap will be right up his street. He was a Grade 2 winner over hurdles and always looked to me like he could be as good over fences. His inexperience over fences is a slight concern for a race like this but he is definitely good enough to make his presence felt.
Column of Fire leads my Festival finale five
The Martin Pipe 17:30 - Braid Blue, Column Of Fire, The Bosses Oscar, Everybreathyoutake & Escaria Ten (Reserve)
Braid Blue is a very likeable horse who won four races on the bounce in the summer before running a good second to Champagne Well at this track in October. It was always the plan to put him by for this race and he's in very good shape. He won't find this easy off top weight but my main concern would be the ground as he likes decent ground and I would like to see it dry out for him.
Column Of Fire must have a good chance. He has some strong maiden hurdle form to his name and he ran very well in a good Leopardstown handicap last time. That Leopardstown race was over three miles but I'm not too concerned about bringing him back in distance as he has plenty of form over shorter and he will have learnt a lot from his last run. I think you need a horse who stays well for this race and he fits the bill. He has a very good chance.
The Bosses Oscar is a lovely horse. He is a little light on experience which would be a concern and I think that he would like the ground to dry out. However, he is a horse who is open to plenty of improvement and he strikes me as a horse that could run very well. He is working nicely and looks to have settled in well and he is an unexposed type who can definitely improve on what he has shown. He gives us quite a strong hand here.
Everybreathyoutake is a lovely type of horse who stays well and he's in the mould of Ravenhill. He progressed into a very nice novice hurdler in the summer and his last run in October can be ignored as he wouldn't have liked the testing ground. He is fresh and well and will hopefully represent us well but better ground and a longer trip would suit him better.
Escaria Ten is the first reserve for this race so we will have to see whether he gets in. He's in a similar position to a few of my runners here in that he wants a longer trip to be seen at his best. He's a nice type of horse and I think he is going to have a great future as a staying chaser but I'm keen to give him a shot at a nice prize over hurdles to see what he might be capable of.
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