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Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Elliott enters 12 as he attempts to maintain impressive big-race run

The novice A Toi Phil is an intriguing entry in the Thyestes Chase for Gordon Elliott
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Already a winner of major pots this season including the Munster National, Troytown Chase, Paddy Power Chase and most recently the Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase, Gordon Elliott now has his eyes fixed on the €100,000 Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park on Thursday week and is responsible for 12 of the 40 entries.

Elliott has never managed to win the Gowran Park feature, but went agonisingly close when Mala Beach and Ucello Conti filled the second and third spot respectively behind My Murphy 12 months ago.

Among this year's squad is Ucello Conti, A Toi Phil, Jetstream Jack and topweight Roi Des Francs as Elliott bids to keep Willie Mullins at arm's length in the trainers' championship.

Mullins, who is the 2-5 favourite for the title with Paddy Power, has entered a team of six headed by his Punchestown festival winner Pleasant Company on 11st 1lb.

The champion handler has won the race six times, most recently with Djakadam in 2015, and he could also call on Paddy Power Chase runner-up The Crafty Butcher who has been given 10st 1lb.

Last year's winning trainer Liam Burke looks set to give My Murphy the opportunity to record back-to-back wins in the race, while he could also call upon improving handicapper Sumos Novios.

Burke said: "At the moment My Murphy is a definite runner and Sumos Novios could also take his chance, but we'll wait until closer to the race before making a decision on him.

"My Murphy has gone up plenty in the weights but he has his chance and Sumos Novios has been in good form since his win at Cork."

My Murphy is a definite runner and Sumos Novios could also take his chance, but we'll wait until closer to the race before making a decision on him

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