We're delighted to bring you the return of Gordon Elliott to Betting.Betfair, with the leading Irish trainer sending a strong team of runners to Tipperary on Friday...
"He is looking great and working well so hopefully we might see more of the Mengli Khan of old here."
- Gordon Elliot on Mengli Khan
Maybe not today but they should do well during the summer
13:00 - Insane Bolt & Brawny
Insane Bolt is already rated 101 and that leaves him with a bit to do back in a maiden hurdle but I'm just keen to get him started for the summer and this looked a nice race to bring him back in. He has taken a few runs to get his act together over hurdles but I thought there was a bit more promise in his last couple of runs and I hope he will be able to win this summer but I'd say he will find a few of these too strong and he will come on for this run.
Brawny has struggled over hurdles so far although he did show a little promise on a couple of occasions. I'm hoping that with some time off and a switch to summer ground he will show a bit more. He's more one for handicaps later in the summer but I'm just hoping we will see a bit more from him here.
In good form and working well
13:30 - Chosen Mate & Mengli Khan
Chosen Mate capped a great Cheltenham for us when he won the Grand Annual. He's a classy horse who I hope has some more good days ahead of him and we are thinking of aiming towards the Galway Hurdle with him which is why he is running here. He is in very good form and generally runs quite well fresh but he did get a break after Cheltenham and he is definitely going to come on from this run while he also has a bit to find on ratings with some of these.
Mengli Khan is a former Grade 1 winner and on his day he is a very smart horse but he has become quite hard to predict and his form is in and out. He did run some solid races last season but still wasn't at the level I know he can perform to and hopefully the break will have done him good. He is looking great and working well so hopefully we might see more of the Mengli Khan of old here.
Needs to bounce back to form
14:00 - Song Of Namibia
He put together a couple of good runs this time last year but he lost his way over the winter and just wasn't enjoying himself so I think the break and a switch to summer racing will make a big difference to him. He has it all to do on his last few runs but he's in good shape at home and if he could bounce back to the form he was in this time last year I could see him running well.
Like nice ground so could run well
14:35 - Thunder Down Under
He is a useful horse who should be able to win races over hurdles. He ran to a solid level in defeat in reasonable handicaps when he was last seen in action last season and his rating would suggest he could win a maiden hurdle at this time of year. He's a stayer who seems to like nice ground and if he gets back to the form of his third in a decent novice handicap hurdle at Leopardstown's Christmas Festival he could run well.
Chances if bringing her home work to the track
15:35 - Maria Francesca
Maria Francesca seems like a grand mare and might be able to win a handicap hurdle at some stage this summer. Her form is nothing special but she has shown a little bit of promise on a couple of occasions and I'm hoping she brings her home work to the track as that would give her a chance of getting involved.
Has the ability so hoping to see more
16:05 - Curlew Hill
He ran a couple of nice races before coming to join us and I must say I was disappointed with his first run for us in Thurles when he was well beaten in a race where he looked to have a leading chance. I don't think he enjoyed the ground that day so hopefully we will see a good deal better from him this time as he certainly has the ability to go close in a bumper.
Expect Eliza to improve for this debut run at the Curragh
17:15 - Sister Eliza
She is a half-sister to Smiling Eliza who won a few races for us on the flat and over hurdles. She's a grand, straight forward filly but she will be a bit green and raw for this and whatever she does today she will be all the better for this first run.