After opening the Festival in absolutely superb fashion with a treble in the shape of [42.0] winner Labaik in the Supreme, Apple's Jade in the Mares' Hurdle and Tiger Roll in the National Hunt Chase, Gordon Elliott is back with his exclusive thoughts on his runners for day two...
"This horse has been a star for us over the years and he’s unlucky not to be a three-time winner at the festival, but hopefully we'll put that right here. This horse has been a star for us over the years and he’s unlucky not to be a three-time winner at the festival, but hopefully we'll put that right here."
- Gordon on Cause of Causes
Cheltenham 13:30 - Shattered Love
We have always held her in high regard and he gave a nice mare of Jessie Harrington's, Forge Meadow, 5lbs and a 13L beating in Fairyhouse last time she ran. The runner up has subsequently franked the form when beating the boys in a G2 Novice hurdle in Naas last month and that's always nice to see. Our mare gets the allowances here and I'm expecting a really decent run from her.
Cheltenham 13:30 - Brelade
Has been a very consistent horse for us who has only been out of the first three once in seven starts. After he won his maiden in Navan we stepped him straight into G1 company in the Future Champions at Leopardstown Christmas meeting. He ran well there to finish second to Saturnas, in receipt of 3lbs, and ran another solid race when third in the Deloitte over 2f further at the same track. The trip will really suit him and I'm expecting a big run.
Cheltenham 14:50 - Tombstone
After Tombstone beat Jezki in Gowran Park we deliberated about supplementing him to the Champion Hurdle and after much discussion we decided that was the thing to do. But when Phil Smith rated him 1lb higher than his Irish mark we decided the handicap route was the way to go.
Initially I thought that the County Hurdle would be the best option but after further discussion we decided on the Coral Cup. I have no doubt he will stay and again I'm very confident he will give a very good account of himself.
Cheltenham 14:50 - Automated
The handicapper raised him 10lbs after winning a decent Handicap hurdle in Navan back in December so he's one that seems well exposed at this stage of his career. The form of the Navan win isn't great either but having said that he has a decent each-way chance. He has to be played late so will be ridden right out the back and will need luck in running.
Cheltenham 16:10 - Cause Of Causes
This horse has been a star for us over the years and he's unlucky not to be a three-time winner at the festival, but hopefully we'll put that right here. We ran him over the cross country course back in January and it was all a little new to him. He didn't run too bad in the circumstance and, with a view to this week, we brought him back over when the sales were on and schooled him around the course a couple of times to familiarise himself with the unique test and we schooled him again on Tuesday morning here so that will stand him in good stead. Probably my best chance of a winner today.
Cheltenham 16:10 - Bless The Wings
He is a very consistent in this horse in this race and was a good second in the Irish National when beaten a short head by Rouge Angle. He ran a cracker when third (the winner was subsequently disqualified so the form book shows that our lad was officially second). His run in the Thyestes was adequate and he is a fresh horse. This has been his main target all season and I'm again expecting a really decent run.
Cheltenham 16:50 - Dakota Moirette
It wasn't a bad run to finish second to Prospectus in Fairyhouse and they pulled 16L clear of the third so that was encouraging. I also liked her when she won her maiden in Punchestown beating stablemate and re-opposing Icario. I'm really not sure that form is strong enough to win this but she has an each way chance.
Cheltenham 16:50 - Icario
Has ability but has run up a sequence of four seconds and is beginning to look a bit unreliable at this stage, and to be honest, I'll be flabbergasted if Dakota Moirette doesn't finish in front of him.
Cheltenham 17:30 - Fayonagh
She is a lovely mare who won a bumper on her first run for us by 20L on soft to heavy ground in Fairyhouse, so she clearly has plenty of ability but the form of the race is hard to fathom. I like her and she get the mares allowance which is a massive help but this is a big ask and she might be best watched.
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