Betfair Ambassador Gordon Elliott runs four at Aintree on the second day of the Grand National meeting and he believes he has a big chance with Dallas Des Pictons in the Grade 1 Novice Hurdle...
"He won a good handicap at Leopardstown over this trip and that effort along with his Cheltenham run and his second to City Island in a maiden over Christmas would suggest that he should go well."
- Gordon Elliott on Dallas Des Pictons
Finding-out mission with my Musketeers
Aintree 13:45 - Three Musketeers
He is a grand horse who hasn't been with us all that long and this looked a nice race to start him out in. He's done plenty of racing over longer trips but two and a half miles or a little further looks a very suitable trip for him. He's in good form and I'm happy with what he has been able to show us as home but this does look a very competitive handicap and I'm hoping that he runs a solid race and gives us an indication as to what route we need to take with him over the coming months.
Will go well if over his Cheltenham exertions
Aintree 14:20 - Felix Desjy
After losing his way a little bit earlier in the season he's gotten back to the level where we thought he would be able to perform to over hurdles. On his second last run he produced a nice effort to win a Grade 2 at Punchestown and then last time out he showed up well in the Supreme Novices Hurdle.
He was about the only horse to give the winner a race at Cheltenham and he probably paid the price for that late on as he jumped the final flight in second only to fade to fifth on the run in. I would say he deserved to finish a little closer than he did at Cheltenham and I've been looking forward to running him here as Aintree looks like a track that will suit him well. Provided Cheltenham hasn't taken too much out of him he should run well.
Could run a big race if taking to the National fences
Aintree 16:05 - Woods Well
He was never going to get into the Grand National so this race was always his aim at Aintree. From an early stage of his chasing career I thought that he might be a horse to win a good handicap chase but he has just struggled to make an impression in some quality races.
This looks another fiercely competitive race and I'm under no illusions as to the task facing him but his last run at Leopardstown was encouraging as he ran out a game winner of a €50,000 handicap over two miles five furlongs. He did well to survive a mistake at the last that day but otherwise his jumping was brilliant and he looked to enjoy being ridden close to the pace. If he takes to the fences and gets into a nice early rhythm he could run a big race and I wouldn't be shocked to see him show up well.
Recent form suggest Dallas should run a big race
Aintree 16:40 - Dallas Des Pictons
I couldn't have asked for any more from him in the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham where he did everything right and just got beaten by a better horse on the day. He's a lovely, staying type and I'm looking forward to him going chasing next season but I think he is worth his place in a good staying novice hurdle as he has improved with every run this season and there is still more to come from him.
He won a good handicap at Leopardstown over this trip and that effort along with his Cheltenham run and his second to City Island in a maiden over Christmas would suggest that he should go well.
*Best Chance - Dallas Des Pictons (16:40)