Having beaten the cold snap Naas are expected to race on Saturday afternoon, and Betfair Ambassador Gordon Elliott has plenty of chances on the card...
"She's in good form and has been ready to run again for the last few weeks so I'm looking forward to getting her out again and despite the distance not being ideal I'd expect a good run from her."
- Gordon Elliott on Shattered Love
Nice type but will likely progress in the spring
He is a horse we picked up quite cheaply at an online sale a few months ago and I think we could have some fun with him. He's a grand, honest type who has schooled well over hurdles so far and I've been looking to start him out for the last few weeks. Hopefully he will run a solid race but I think he will prefer better ground and I'd be expecting him to progress well later in the spring.
Bumper form gives him a chance
Don Diablo has been ready to run again for the last number of weeks. He's in good shape and has schooled fine over hurdles since he last ran in a bumper so hopefully he could show up well. His bumper form looks quite respectable and would suggest to me that he should be competitive in maiden hurdles so I'd put him up as having an each way-chance although I do think he will improve for this run.
Good run expected from Love despite trip not being ideal
This trip is a bit on the short side for Shattered Love but I am keen to get a run into her before the new Mares Chase at Cheltenham and this looked a nice option for her even though she would prefer further. She's in good form and has been ready to run again for the last few weeks so I'm looking forward to getting her out again and despite the distance not being ideal I'd expect a good run from her. Elimay will be hard to beat though.
Tintangle is a disappointing mare. She has plenty of ability and would be more than good enough to play a leading role here at her best but you just don't know what to expect from her. After a good run back over hurdles at Navan in December she was going to be well beaten when coming down at the second last in a mares handicap hurdle at Leopardstown last weekend. She did run well in this last year and hopefully she will do so again but she does have her own ideas about things.
Unpredictable duo both have chances at their best
Minella Till Dawn won a handicap chase at this trip at Cork last season and went on to be placed in a decent handicap at Navan a few months later. He hasn't run to that level in two starts this season but maybe a return to this sort of trip will suit him and he is dropping down in grade having contested the Troytown last time so a combination of a drop in class and coming here fresh might also help him. At his best he has his chance but he's not the easiest to predict.
Gun Digger has struggled badly for form so far this season but he has dropped a few pounds in the weights which might help him and he started to come back to himself around this time last year after a string of similar efforts. He has the ability to run well in a race like this but it's just a question of which Gun Digger turns up.
Won't be surprised to see him run well
Sideshift got a little break for the winter as I wasn't sure he wanted really testing ground. The ground here will certainly be softer than ideal and I think he will need this run a little as it will be his first for three months but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him run well given what he showed on his first couple of runs over hurdles. Hopefully he will run well but there will be better to come from him later in the spring.
Encouraging first run but might be best watched here
He got a break after his last run and is ready to start back but I think he will need this run and he would prefer better ground too so this won't be easy for him off top weight. I thought his first run for us at Limerick was quite encouraging and if he can get back to that sort of form I hope that he will be making his mark for us later in the season. He might be best watched today though.
Reproduction of last run should see him invovled
I think he is lining up with solid each-way claims. He has a bit to do on ratings but he has been holding his form well all season and shouldn't be far away. His penultimate third in a competitive rated novice at Punchestown gives him a chance and he was in contention when he exited at the second last at Clonmel last time. The winner would have been very hard to beat at Clonmel but I think Gevrey could have finished second and a similar showing here should enable him to get involved.
Benefit of previous experience to help Eyewitness
Blacktrenchwarrior wouldn't be a certain stayer on pedigree but he shapes like a horse who could get this trip so we will see how he gets on. He has been working fine and looks ready for a run and whatever he does here he will improve on in due course.
Eyewitness ran a respectable race over this course and distance last month when he was third to a very smart looking filly of Willie's. The ground here is likely to be similarly testing which wouldn't be absolutely ideal as I'd say he wouldn't mind better ground but he showed enough on his debut to suggest that he could win a four-year-old bumper and the benefit of previous experience will also be a help to him.
Get up to £50 in free bets for Cheltenham with our superb offer
You can get up to £50 in free bets for Cheltenham in our fantastic Festival offer. Just bet £20 on the Exchange on each Saturday of racing from February 13 onwards to qualify. T&Cs apply. For full details click here.