Betfair Ambassador Gordon Elliott has 10 runners listed for Thursday's card at the Galway Festival. Here he discusses their chances including Felix Desjy in the 18:45...
"Felix Desjy was a Grade 1 class novice hurdler a couple of seasons ago and he shows me that all his old ability is still intact so I’m hoping for a big run from him."
Consistent type could go close
16:45 - Saint D'oroux
He's a generally consistent type and he progressed with racing last season to end up being placed in the Fred Winter at Cheltenham. I did think he would need his comeback run at Bellewstown so he should do much better now and his best form entitles him to go close. I'd just be wary of a couple of useful non winners in the race to whom he's going to have to concede plenty of weight.
Capable of making a winning return
17:15 - Braid Blue
He's a lovely summer horse who did really for us in England last season and he finished off with a good second in a decent novice hurdle at Cheltenham in October. He loves good ground so if it stays dry his chance will improve all the time and he has schooled well over fences so hopefully he will run well. He has been off a good while so that could catch him out but I'd hope that he won't be far away.
Aforementioned needs to produce better round of jumping
17:45 - Aforementioned and Galvin
Aforementioned started out for us with a nice run in a Kilbeggan beginner's chase where he was second to a useful horse of Noel Meade's. He made a few little errors that day so I'm hoping he will produce a better round of jumping here. This is a better race than the one he contested last time and he is dropping in trip but he has the ability to be competitive if things fall right for him and I wouldn't be at all surprised if he ran well.
As everyone know Galvin goes for the Plate on Wednesday evening and that is his intended target. I just put him in here in case something went amiss early on in the Plate but you never know what can happen. We'll just get Wednesday out of the way and see how he is before deciding whether he runs here.
Should benefit from a break
18:15 - Fight For Love
He has taken a little while to come to hand since coming back in but over the last few weeks he seems to have turned a corner and looks to be in good shape so hopefully he could show up well. His form is a little in and out but he had two decent runs last season that would give him a chance of getting involved and I think he's the type of horse who runs well off a break.
Felix still has the ability to produce a big run
18:45 - Felix Desjy and Aramax
I was delighted with Felix Desjy's comeback in Navan and he's done well since then. As everyone knows he loves to make the running and that's what he is happiest doing - we've tried before to hold him up and it doesn't work so we'll keep things simple. It won't be easy for him to do that in a race like the Galway Hurdle but he was a Grade 1 class novice hurdler a couple of seasons ago and he shows me that all his old ability is still intact so I'm hoping for a big run from him.
Aramax improved with racing last season and ended up winning the Fred Winter at Cheltenham on his last start. This is a better race and he will find things tougher taking on his elders but he's in good shape and this race has been his aim for a while now. Ideally I would have liked to have gotten a run into him beforehand and he might be a little light on experience but I think he's up to running a big race.
Could make his second run of the week
19:15 - The Very Man
He is declared for a Listed novice hurdle on Wednesday and his run there will tell us whether we can turn him out again. If he came out of that race in good shape I wouldn't rule out running him again as I think he will enjoy stepping up to this trip but he won't find it easy trying to concede weight to Jon Snow.
Should run solid race especially if ground eases
19:45 - Cherif De L'Isle
He was a consistent sort last winter and ran plenty of decent races in defeat before deservedly getting his turn in a handicap at Limerick in March. He is definitely a better horse on softer ground so he is one of ours this week who wouldn't have any problem if the ground did ease significantly before Thursday. He is probably rated right up to his best but he should still run his usual solid race.
Lacks experience but could show up well
20:15 - Smokey The Bandit
He's a nice type of horse who we've given plenty of time to and he's been coming together steadily over the last couple of months. His recent work has suggested that he is ready to start off and he has shown me enough to indicate that he will be competitive in a bumper. I would expect to improve for both this run and this initial experience but he could still show up well.