Gordon Elliott has some decent chances among his seven runners at Naas on Wednesday, and here the Betfair Ambassador gives the lowdown on them all...
"I think he's a horse with a nice future and I always viewed him as a horse who will be better over jumps which is why we aren't hanging around in bumpers with him."
- Gordon Elliott on Grand Paradis
*Best Chance - Grand Paradis (14:50)
Clear round will see him contend
He has put together a couple of solid efforts lately and I think he lines up with his usual each way chance. He's been a frustrating horse over fences as his best form would entitle to have won over fences long before now but he just hasn't been able to do so and his jumping has let him down on plenty of occasions. However, he is running to a solid standard at the moment and he will not be far away with a clear round.
Two decent chances with trip set to suit
In truth Ragnar Lodbrok faces a stiff enough task here but he's in good form and I think if he can put together a reasonable round of jumping he could give a good account of himself. His last two runs have been over three miles in useful novice hurdles at Cork and he has run quite respectably both times but he just hasn't jumped well which I think is costing him in his races. We've put cheek pieces on him to help him concentrate and he did win his maiden hurdle over this trip so I'm hoping he will be able to hold his own now that he drops down in distance.
Wide Receiver is rated 130 but I think he is better than his rating suggest and his form so far this season is good. His second to Ashdale Bob in a Navan maiden hurdle looks like a very good run in hindsight and I was delighted with his effort at Leopardstown over Christmas when he won a maiden hurdle in good style. He jumped well at Leopardstown which was good to see and he will definitely improve over this trip so I could see him running a big race although I think better ground would suit him better.
I'm expecting a good showing from Grand Paradis
Direct Fire has shown a little bit of promise on both his starts so far but he is going to have to improve if he is to make an impact in a maiden hurdle such as this. Hopefully he will run a solid race but after this race he will be eligible to move into handicaps and that may represent his best chance of a victory over hurdles.
Grand Paradis is a nice prospect. I was hoping he would give a good account of himself when he went to Fairyhouse for a bumper in late November and he produced a nice performance to win well. I think he's a horse with a nice future and I always viewed him as a horse who will be better over jumps which is why we aren't hanging around in bumpers with him. He has schooled well over hurdles and looks to be in good shape so despite his lack of previous jumping experience I'm expecting a good showing from him. He should be fine at this trip but he will improve when he goes over further.
Should be competitive in handicaps like this
He has plenty of weight in the opportunity handicap hurdle but he has plenty of experience to his name even though he hasn't run in a handicap before. I think a mark of 116 is about right for him and he is what he is but he is a solid and reliable horse who should be competitive in handicaps like this throughout the next few months. I'd put him up as having an each way chance.
Should give a good account despite inexperience
He is a grand horse who has been doing fine in his work over the last few weeks and he is showing me that he should be competitive in four-year-old bumpers. As this is his first run I'd be expecting him to be a little green and raw but he should still be able to give a good account of himself and I'd put him forward as having an each way chance.