Gordon Elliott: A quiet but strong day five at the Galway Festival
Gordon has a quieter day ahead but has a pair entered for the Galway Blazer Handicap Chase. Read his views on their chances here...
"While this does look a typically competitive edition of the race, he is capable of giving a good account of himself." - Gordon Elliott on Top of the Town
Fine Fettle should settle
17:10 - Fine Fettle
After a few busy days, the Friday of Galway is a quiet one for us and we have just three runners starting with Fine Fettle in the median auction two-year-old maiden.
On his debut at the Curragh on Derby Weekend he had to settle for ninth but I wasn't disappointed with his run there. He would have needed that outing, it was quite a hot race and the ground was on the quick side. Taking all these things into account I'd expect him to improve a good deal for that first run.
The soft ground shouldn't be a problem for him and he is nicely drawn in stall one so I'm hoping he will be able to put that to good use with the benefit of a run behind him. At home he has always pleased us in his work and I'm expecting him to step forward on the form he showed the first day while the step up to seven furlongs should work in his favour.
Top of the Town back to fences
19:55 - Thunder And Roses & Top Of The Town
Thunder And Roses has his second run for us in the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase. He hasn't won a race since the 2015 Irish Grand National and, while he has been dropping down the weights, he is going to have to take a significant step forward if he is to make his presence felt here.
On his first start for the yard he was a well beaten in ninth in the Midlands National at Kilbeggan two weeks ago. That was his first run for three months and he would have needed it so I'm hoping he will be able to improve on what he showed there. On the whole he has been struggling for the last two seasons but two of his better runs over the last year and a half came on decent ground.
The ground at Galway has eased quite a bit since the start of the week but it's still nothing like what he would encounter in the depths of the winter so this will hopefully aid his cause. I'm hoping to see him show up well but he has it all to do.
Top Of The Town came to us earlier this year and he has run to a solid standard on his three runs for the yard. We have kept him to hurdles so far and I thought that his last run at Killarney when he was third to Bargy Lady was quite encouraging.
He has been coming along nicely at home and I've been looking forward to bringing him back to fences. On his two previous handicap chase runs he has struggled to make an impression, including when he was unplaced in this race last year. However, he seems very well in himself and while this does look a typically competitive edition of the race, he is capable of giving a good account of himself.
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