A busy but exciting day in store for Gordon Elliott as he saddles nine runners in six different races at Navan on Saturday afternoon, and here the Betfair Ambassador gives his exclusive thoughts on each...
"He steps back in trip for this Grade B Hurdle and although he's at his best over 3m he has won over this trip before - as a real mud lover he will relish todays ground so I'm expecting a big run from him dropping back in class."
- Gordon Elliott on Burren Life
Stooshie finally got off the mark on the ninth time of asking at Down Royal when holding on by a neck from favourite Judgement Day. He is a horse that just needed a little time for the penny to drop although his prior starts were nicely consistent and he's never run a terrible race. He came out of the race in great order and goes here with another good chance.
Veneer Of Charm made a very nice start to his hurdling career at Punchestown on his penultimate start, staying on well to win by just under a length. On his latest appearance at Fairyhouse he finished second 8L behind stablemate and hot favourite Mitchouka which was a great effort as he is a horse we hold in high regard. He has a nice little chance today but course and distance winner Gran Geste looks the one to beat.
Roundstone was the very impressive winner of his sole Point to Point start, he makes his debut under rules today and that Pointing experience will hold him in good stead. He goes very well at home and is a really nice sort but we will know more about him after today.
Western Command was very disappointing on his hurdling debut last time out at Fairyhouse, hopefully he will improve for the experience but he will obviously need to show marked improvement here to be a factor and our other two runners in this hold more appeal.
Saffron And Grey is having his first start here today heading straight over hurdles, the five-year-old son of Robin Des Champs is a nice sort and pleasing in his work at home but will come on for today's experience and we'll be able to make more of a plan for him after this.
Burren Life has been in top form this season, his latest start in a Grade 2 at Limerick in testing conditions was a career best for the six-year-old. He steps back in trip for this Grade B Hurdle and although he's at his best over 3m he has won over this trip before - as a real mud lover he will relish todays ground so I'm expecting a big run from him dropping back in class.
Swingbridge is a grand honest sort who has been mixing it up between hurdling and chasing since joining the yard, back over hurdles today and stepping right back in trip he probably wants better ground but he did run well in testing conditions earlier this month at Fairyhouse so I think he has a credible chance of finishing in the shake up.
Timiyan's last start at Listowel was very disappointing, being a course and distance winner we had expected to see much better. He steps up in trip today which I hope will help things along but he will need to show some huge improvement on that last start although he is in good order at home and does everything well so I hope he can replicate that on the track today.
Diamond Turf takes on the Bumper of just four runners, he was narrowly beaten on his debut at Limerick on heavy ground so todays conditions won't be an issue, he came out of the race well and has come on in himself for the experience and so with Lisa O'Neill who knows him well retaining the ride I hope he can get his head in front today.