A relatively quiet Saturday for Gordon Elliott with the Betfair Ambassador saddling just the five runners at Gowran Park. Here are his views on them all...
"He's in good shape and seems very well in himself and back at this level and getting a useful weight allowance he could show up well."
- Gordon Elliott on Petit Mouchoir
*PLEASE NOTE: Saturday's meeting at Gowran Park has been abandoned
Improvement likely and he'll take the beating
He made a nice start over hurdles at Naas last month when he was just touched off by Coltor and he did everything right bar win that day. I'd expect him to improve for that experience and sharpen up a little bit and hopefully he'll take beating. The ground will be very testing which isn't ideal but he did cope well enough with deep ground at Naas so I'd like to think he will handle the conditions.
Drop in grade should see him show up well
After starting off for us with two runs at Grade 1 level, he drops down in grade for this race and hopefully he will run well. I was delighted with his run behind Sharjah at Christmas as he would have needed it and he finished out his race nicely to take third.
He didn't do so well in the Irish Champion Hurdle next time but probably paid the price for matching strides with Honeysuckle from early on. Possibly if we'd have used different tactics that day he might have run better. He's in good shape and seems very well in himself and back at this level and getting a useful weight allowance he could show up well.
Not sure what to expect with both
Swordsman was a promising horse earlier in his career but for some reason things have gone wrong with him since he won a beginner's chase at Roscommon in September 2019. He ended last season with a respectable run but he was very disappointing on his return at Fairyhouse last month. He is far better than he showed there and his ability far outweighs what he has been doing on the track but for the time being he is a horse who is best watched.
Kruzhlinin has been an amazing horse for us in point-to-points over the last few years. He's as fresh and enthusiastic as he ever was and his last run in a point in December, which was a reasonable one, came against some quality sorts so despite his advancing years he retains ability. It's well over four years since he last ran over hurdles and I'm not sure what to expect from him but hopefully he will be able to give a good account of himself.
Needs to tidy up his jumping
He's a frustrating horse on a long losing run and has to give weight all round. However, if you look back through his form its clear he has the ability to win a race like this when everything falls into place for him. Usually his jumping lets him down and he makes a few bad mistakes in the course of his races but if he can tidy up his jumping a little bit I think he could run well.