Elliott seven strong in bid to extend handicap hot streak
3.00 Gowran Park
Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase (Grade A) | 5yo+ | 3m1f | ATR
Gordon Elliott has dominated graded handicap chases with an overall value of €100,000 plus in Ireland this season and victory for any of his seven runners in today's Gowran Park feature would stretch his haul to eight wins in the division.
A Toi Phil's dramatic success in the Coral.ie Leopardstown Chase on Sunday followed victories for Elliott in the Galway Plate, the Kerry National, the Munster National, the Troytown Chase, the Paddy Power Chase and the Dan Moore Chase.
Elliott's has yet to win the Thyestes and his team for today's race includes Roi Des Francs, Clarcam and Prince Of Scars, all owned by Gigginstown House Stud, owners of all but one of the trainer's seven big handicap chase winners this season.
Completing the Elliott challenge are Jetstream Jack and Prince Of Scars, both of whom will be running in a handicap for the first time, Bless The Wings, Ucello Conti and Shadow Catcher.
Willie Mullins, Elliott's rival for the Irish trainers championship, has sent out six winners of the race, most recently Djakadam who was successful two years ago.
With Sambremont and The Crafty Butcher, who is favourite for the race, being first and third reserves respectedly, Pleasant Company is the champion trainer's only guaranteed runner and is making his first appearance since scoring at the Punchestown festival in April.
My Murphy, winner of the race a year ago for Liam Burke and Robbie Power, will be attempting to become the first back-to-back winner of the event since Preists Leap scored in both 2008 and 2009.
What they say
Gordon Elliott, trainer of Roi Des Francs, Clarcam, Ucello Conti, Jetstream Jack, Prince Of Scars, Bless The Wings and Shadow Catcher.
Roi Des Francs has plenty of weight, so we're claiming 7lb. If he came back to his best he'd have every chance. Clarcam came out of Leopardstown on Sunday well and takes his chance, going back up in trip. Ucello Conti is in good order. The ground was probably quicker than ideal for him at Leopardstown last time but he ran very well in the race last year and we're happy with him. Jetstream Jack will like the ground and while it's his first run in a handicap, he definitely has a chance. Prince Of Scars would prefer slower ground and that's a bit of a concern. Bless The Wings is an out-and-out stayer with plenty of experience and he has a nice low weight while we're taking the blinkers off Shadow Catcher where he was pulled up after making a couple of mistakes.
Henry de Bromhead, trainer of Champagne West
He's in good form. I think he likes soft ground although he might prefer it a bit deeper but there's nothing we can do about that. He did it well at Tramore and has some good form in the book.
Noel Meade, trainer of Wounded Warrior, Measureofmydreams and Bonny Kate
Wounded Warrior is very well and although he'd prefer softer ground, it's a race that could suit him. Measureofmydreams has had a wind operation. He's been going well enough at home but it's his first run of the season. Bonny Kate is in great form but any rain would be welcome as she likes it very soft.
Liam Burke, trainer of My Murphy
He's in good order and I'm very happy with him. We could do with rain but we're not going to get it, so I just hope he'll be able to lie up early on.
Willie Mullins, trainer of Pleasant Company
It's taken a long time for him to come right this season and he's just ready to start his campaign. We're hoping he goes well but he has been a long time off.
Tom Taaffe, trainer of Rogue Trader
Things didn't quite work out for him in the Paddy Power at Leopardstown last time but he still ran well to finish fifth. He's in very good form and this race might suit him better. The ground and the trip will suit.