It's a busy Saturday at Fairyhouse for Gordon Elliott who has nine runners in action including best chance of the afternoon Percy Warner...
"I was hoping he could give a good account of himself going to Navan last month, but I expected him to improve for that run, so the fact he won nicely would suggest he is a horse with plenty of potential for the rest of the season."
Improvement needed from both
Ardhill ran with promise on a couple of occasions over hurdles but he has generally been quite disappointing and his last couple of runs haven't offered much encouragement. He has schooled well over fences at home so I'm hoping he might find his feet over fences but the way he is running at the moment indicates that he is best watched for the time being.
Desire De Joie looks as though he has reached his limit over hurdles as he struggled once he switched to handicaps after winning a maiden at Sligo. He is a good jumper and looks like a horse who should make up into a reasonable chaser so we've decided to go chasing with him rather than waste any more time over hurdles. I would say that a longer trip would suit him better and he might also prefer better ground so I'd be hoping for a solid showing from him but I know there will be better to come from him as a chaser later in the season.
She shouldn't be far away
She has run a couple of respectable races over fences lately and her penultimate fourth in quite a decent mares handicap over a similar trip to this at this track is a run that would give her a chance. She is a grand, honest mare and doesn't have anything in hand over the handicapper but I think if she runs her race she won't be far away.
Field Of Dreams is better than he's shown
Fields Of Dreams was going to run a respectable race until falling on his hurdling debut at Navan last month. He then struggled at Leopardstown a couple of weeks ago when he could never get involved but I do think he is a good bit better than he showed there and hopefully he can get back on track here, although I do think that better ground would be a help to him.
Purdey's Gift is having his first run over hurdles for us having had a run on the flat at Dundalk in late November when he performed quite respectably in a two mile handicap. Chris Hayes rode him at Dundalk and was very pleased with him and felt he would come on plenty for that run so I'm hoping he could run a nice race here. He has schooled fine over hurdles, and has been doing well in his work, but there is no substitute for experience over hurdles so I'd be expecting him to come on for this.
High hopes for my best chance
I was delighted with his first run over hurdles in a maiden at Navan last month when he beat what looks a very smart horse of Noel Meade's. I was hoping he could give a good account of himself going to Navan but I expected him to improve for that run so the fact he won nicely would suggest he is a horse with plenty of potential for the rest of the season.
He lacks the experience of his rivals, who are all quite smart in their own right, so it will be interesting to see where he fits in. But with a shortage of alternatives, he has to take his chance here. All things considered I'm expecting a good showing from him.
Say Goodbye has an each-way chance
Daphne Moon ran to a reasonable level in bumpers last season and I did think that hurdling would show her in a better light but she struggled badly on her first run over hurdles at Cork in early November. Maybe I ran her back too soon after her comeback run in a Punchestown bumper but she's been given plenty of time since then and we will start afresh with her and hopefully she will take a step in the right direction. She is better than she has shown on her last couple of runs.
Say Goodbye is starting out over hurdles following a couple of runs in bumpers. She has shown a little bit of promise in her two bumper runs but she definitely shows me more at home so I am hoping that she will improve for a switch to hurdles. She jumps well, enjoys soft ground and will be suited by this trip so I'd put her forward as having an each way chance.
Keep your eye on this one this season
I thought he would have won a maiden hurdle at this stage of the season but he's only got to run a couple of times. His first run at Wexford was a very solid one and last time out at Punchestown he just bumped into a couple of smart types and he also made a mistake at the second last flight which came at the wrong time of the race. I think there is definitely more to come from him over hurdles and he is a horse who could compete for a nice prize before the end of the season so I'd be expecting a good run from him.