It's going to be a busy weekend for Gordon Elliott as he saddles plenty of runners across two meetings, starting with a fair few at Fairyhouse on Saturday...
"She has schooled well and looks to be settling better than she did last season so I'd be hoping that she could make up into a very smart hurdler this season."
- Gordon Elliott on Daylight Katie
Best Chance: Daylight Katie 15:25
Both look ready to start the season
13:40 - Two Runners
She's a grand mare who ran to a solid standard last season and won her maiden hurdle at Gowran in the spring. Last season she never really got her ground, she likes it soft, so I'm hoping we will see some progress from her if we get a more traditional winter. She jumps well and looks ready to start off but like a lot of mine at the moment she will need this first run.
On her day she is a very talented mare as she showed when running a big race in the mares novice hurdle at Cheltenham and when she was fourth in a Grade 1 at Fairyhouse over Easter. She can be a little in and out but she seems very well at home and she looks to have taken well to fences so hopefully we can look forward to a decent season with her. I've no doubt that she will improve for this run.
Good runs expected but Flawless the one to beat
14:15 - Two Runners
We only got to run him a couple of times last season but on both occasions he showed up well in graded novices chases and hopefully he will have a good winter in decent company. He has been going fine at home and looks ready to start off and I'd be hoping for a good showing from him although he will come on for the run and three miles might be more his trip nowadays.
Things just didn't go right for him last season and he only got to run once but I was delighted with how he shaped up on his comeback at Roscommon a couple of weeks ago when he was second to another nice horse of ours in Swordsman. That run should have brought him forward and could make him the one to beat and hopefully he will be able to back up quickly - when he was younger we spaced his runs out but he is a stronger horse now.
Lack of experience not a concern
14:50 - Thisonesforollie
She will need this run as she met with a setback during the summer and we had to go gently with her for a while. Even though this is her first handicap chase it isn't a big field so her relative lack of experience shouldn't be an issue. I'd be hoping for a solid run but she will come on for this run.
High hopes for Katie
15:25 - Two Runners
Last season she developed into a quality sort in bumpers and her runs in good bumpers at Aintree and Punchestown are strong pieces of form. She has schooled well and looks to be settling better than she did last season so I'd be hoping that she could make up into a very smart hurdler this season. She's got to take on geldings here but she should still give a good account of herself.
Saint Or Sinner
This mare won a bumper on her debut but she has struggled since then and the form she has shown over hurdles so far leaves her with plenty to find. She seemed to take better to hurdles last time than was the case on her debut so I'm hoping for a respectable run but she might be one for handicaps in the long term.
Abbey the pick of my pair
16:00 - Two Runners
His last run over two and a three quarter miles at Navan was much more encouraging and I think he'll be able to make his mark over hurdles. He is taking a sharp drop in distance for this but he's not a slow horse and two miles at a galloping track like this should be fine for him. He's got a very solid each way chance.
Fight For Love
He came to us from England during the summer and we are still feeling our way with him. He didn't show much when he was in England and he'll have to progress a fair bit on his run in a maiden hurdle at Clonmel last week but he will improve for that run and a switch to handicaps should help his cause too.
Repeat of recent runs should see Elysium go close
17:10 - Three Runners
He's a grand horse by a sire, Fame And Glory, who has done very well and I'm looking forward to getting him started. He is a straight forward type who has been doing fine at home but I would expect that he will be quite green and raw and whatever he does here he will improve on as a result of this experience.
Lady Of Elysium
She's a consistent sort who has run two nice races since coming back from a break. Her second place finishes at Galway and Clonmel in recent weeks would look to put her in with every chance and a repeat of either of those runs will see her go close.
Earlier in the summer this mare did some reasonable bits of work but she was quite disappointing in a Ballinrobe bumper a couple of months ago. She is better than she showed there and hopefully with her getting all the allowances she will be able to produce a more encouraging effort this time.