It's a big day for Gordon Elliott with his local track staging their marquee day of racing and Gary O'Brien has found a very promising runner at a nice price trained by the Betfair ambassador...
"Given how Elliott targets the marquee programme at his local track it is no surprise to see many of the yard's runners trading at short prices this morning but I'm A Game Changer for one looks perfectly worthy of his perch near the top of the market for the beginners chase at 4.94/1 and ought to be hard to beat."
There aren't many domestic fixtures that mean more to Gordon Elliott than Troytown Chase day at Navan. The leading trainer famously sent out a six-timer at Proudstown Park on the 2017 card, and while last year was nowhere near as kind - the victory of 4/6 shot Defi Bleu in the opening maiden hurdle was as good as it got - it will be a major surprise if the team at Cullentra House aren't celebrating another good day's work come the close of play this afternoon.
Game Changer a nice price for Elliott
Given how Elliott targets the marquee programme at his local track it is no surprise to see many of the yard's runners trading at short prices this morning but I'm A Game Changer for one looks perfectly worthy of his perch near the top of the market for the beginners chase at 4.94/1 and ought to be hard to beat.
A smart handicap hurdler for Philip Hobbs, successful four times in all over the smaller obstacles and achieving a peak rating of 143, the Arcadio gelding had shaped quite well on his sole start in this discipline for the Minehead handler at Exeter last November and was purchased for £50,000 at Doncaster's horses-in-training sale in September.
Thrown in at the deep end on his debut for his new connections in what was one of the strongest races of this type so far this season at today's venue a fortnight ago, he did very well in the circumstances as the only one who managed to keep tabs on market principals Fakir D'Oudairies and Melon until the penultimate fence. Not given a hard time after landing a bit awkwardly there, he was 17 lengths off the runner-up in third at the line but his effort was certainly much better than that statistic suggests - and even the bare form appears to give him outstanding claims now.
Mullins' representative may not match stablemates' standard
This 2m1f contest has been won by the likes of Vautour, Douvan and Al Boum Photo in recent years but Willie Mullins' representative this time, Cash Back, doesn't look in the same league as those luminaries on the admittedly limited evidence so far and must concede experience and race-fitness on his seasonal bow. Triplicate, though placed at Grade 1 level as a novice hurdler, is another returning from a layoff and is probably best watched until proving his aptitude for this game so the main threat may come from Cork second Demain De L'Aube.
Despite launching a seven-strong assault on the historic feature event, a race he captured four times in a row from 2014-2017, Elliott might have to settle for a supporting role as there is a plethora of smart second season chasers from which the winner is most likely to emerge. However choosing between the likes of Discorama, Chris's Dream, Tower Bridge and Portmore Lough is not easy and I'm happy to just watch.
Back I'm A Game Changer @ 4.94/1 in the 14:00 at Navan