Betfair Ambassador Gordon Elliott reflects on the festive racing period and discusses his runners at Cork and Fairyhouse this weekend including best chance Ginto...
"He’s a very talented horse who has a lot going for him and I’d like to think he could make up into a high class bumper horse this season."
It's a quieter start to the year for us than usual after a busy few days over Christmas. As many people know by now a few of our horses didn't run up to scratch over the four days of Leopardstown and Limerick and a few of them scoped poorly afterwards which does at least explain why they ran the way they did.
With this in mind I'm just going to give the horses a few easy days but hopefully it won't be long before we are back at full-strength. Obviously we'd prefer to have had a better Christmas but we still won three Grade 2s and plenty of horses ran with credit so we head into the New Year with plenty of nice prospects to look forward to. Everything that is taking place in the wider world puts a few disappointments on the track into perspective.
I'd just like to wish everybody a happy, safe and healthy New Year.
Best Chance of the Weekend - Ginto in the 15:50 at Fairyhouse on Sunday
Saturday at Cork
Another solid effort expected
I thought he ran a nice race on his return to hurdling in a handicap over this course and distance in November. He was never close enough to have a winning chance but I liked the way he put his head down and tried hard and he finished out his race well. At home he looks to have come on for that run and if he can put his best foot forward I'd expect another solid effort from him.
Hoping she can take a step forward here
She made her debut in a Fairyhouse bumper a couple of months ago and she was well held in ninth behind a decent mare of Peter Fahey's. I do think that run has taught her plenty and brought her forward so I'm hoping for an improved showing here. She seems very well in herself and I'm happy with her last couple of bits of work so hopefully she can step forward on the form of her first run.
Sunday at Fairyhouse
Nice horse should be in contention here
He's quite a nice horse and I was pleased with his first run in a maiden hurdle at Navan in November which has worked out really well with the three that finished in front of him that day all winning next time. I think he has improved from that first run and this trip looks perfect for him so hopefully he will be thereabouts at the finish.
Needs to be at her best in a hot race
I suppose you could say that her season hasn't quite gone to plan but I think there is more to come from her over hurdles and she hasn't yet gotten back to the form that saw her finish third in the bumper at Cheltenham.
In hindsight her second to Skyace at Down Royal in October wasn't a bad run and we probably asked to much of her last time when she took on Concertista and had to settle for third. I don't think she gave her running that day and I'm expecting better from her this time but this does look a hot race and it looks a graded class contest in everything but name.
Baffling horse is probably best watched
He has shown promise on a couple of occasions but a few of his other runs have been quite disappointing and he was very well beaten in a handicap hurdle at this track several weeks ago. He is better than he showed last time but at the moment I'm scratching my head with this horse and he is probably best watched.
Will have a great chance if she performs
She's been a great mare for us for the last few seasons and I thought she looked as good as ever when she won well from Cabaret Queen at Clonmel a couple of months ago. Last time out I brought her back to hurdles for a big pot at Navan but it just didn't happen for her. She got never get involved and was well beaten but I don't think we saw the real Shattered Love that day and she should do much better back over fences and in mares only company. There's a few decent mares in her but if she runs her race she must have a great chance.
Should be right there at the finish
He has run three solid races since going chasing and his second to Pencilfulloflead at Galway in October is a strong piece of form. Last time at Naas he maybe he paid the price for getting involved in a battle for the lead some way from home and I think he is better than he showed there. I could see him winning a nice race for us over fences at some stage this season and if he runs his usual solid race he will be right there at the finish.
Has the talent to win an interesting race
He's an exciting type of horse. From the moment we first started to work him he showed an awful lot of ability and I wasn't surprised he won his point-to-point in the style that he did.
I think he's a very talented horse who has a lot going for him and I'd like to think he could make up into a high class bumper horse this season. This looks an interesting race with some very interesting newcomers in the line up so it will be fascinating to see how it unfolds but I wouldn't swap him for anything.