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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Three things that catch the eye at Galway

Mala Beach: looks overpriced at 12-1 for the Ladbrokes Troytown Chase at Navan on Sunday
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More of Gordon's goodies on display

We got glimpses of Fayonagh, Shattered Love and Tombstone at Fairyhouse on Saturday, now Gordon Elliott is really starting to spoil us as Poli Roi makes his eagerly awaited hurdling debut in the opening 2m2f maiden event (2.25). 

The half-brother to seven winners including Le Rocher was held in such high regard that he took on stablemate Fayonagh in the Racing Post Champion Bumper at Punchestown on only his second start under rules. He enhanced his reputation there with a fine third and is expected to rank highly among novice hurdlers this season.

Elliott said: "I've been looking forward to getting Poli Roi started this season. He won his point-to-point last year before winning his bumper at Navan, after which he ran a hell of a race in the Champion Bumper at Punchestown.

"He has done well during the summer and staying will be his game. He'll make a lovely novice hurdler at two and a half miles and beyond this year, but he's obviously a future staying chaser. He's a very nice horse." 

Later on the card, Elliott unleashes Mala Beach in the 2m61/2f chase (4.00) and few would begrudge owner Chris Jones a small slice of consolation after losing last season's Triumph Hurdle runner-up Mega Fortune in a fatal fall at Limerick on Sunday. 

Mala Beach, runner-up in the 2016 Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park, has been out of action for 561 days but Elliott believes his knee troubles are behind him.

The trainer said: "He's a very good horse when he gets his conditions. Unfortunately he missed last season because he had a little bit of trouble with his knees, but his recuperation has gone well and we're happy with him. He's much better on soft ground and he's ready to start off."

Elliott won the 2m2f beginners' chase (4.35) with Diamond King last season and is doubly represented this time around with Davy Russell on Midnight Escape and Keith Donoghue partnering Minella Till Dawn. 

"Minella Till Dawn and Midnight Escape are ready to start off over fences and I gave them a little pop this morning," said Elliott. "They've been pleasing me."

Is there more Joyeux in store for Dempsey boys?

There is no hotter stable right now than Philip Dempsey's Carbury yard. He has sent out four winners from his last seven runners at prices of 5-1, 11-10, 11-2 and 6-1. 

Among those winners was Coeur Joyeux, who landed a beginners' chase at Sligo by 19 lengths. He runs in the 2m6f handicap chase (5.05) off a mark of 116 with Dempsey's son Luke aboard. 

He is one of three JP McManus owned-runners in the line-up. Joseph O'Brien trains the other two – Tesseract and Aspen Colorado. 

Tesseract's only triumph over fences arrived at Galway, a 2m6f beginners' chase during the summer festival, so it is hardly surprising to see O'Brien sending him back to Ballybrit for a crack at a handicap over the same trip. 

O'Brien said of his runners: "Tesseract won his beginners' chase at Galway so we know he handles the track. He seems in good form at home and knowing that he acts around the place is a big bonus.

"Aspen Colorado has been a bit disappointing over fences so far but hopefully he'll get his confidence back soon."

Carberry seeking to continue hot streak

Since returning after the birth of her first child Rosie, Nina Carberry has been riding better than ever. Of her ten rides, four have won and only one has finished out of the first three. 

Dromahane point winner First Approach, now trained by Noel Meade, is her next port of call. 

Meade himself has an impressive strike-rate in bumpers this season with six of his 19 runners successful – a 32 per cent strike-rate.

Read exclusive previews of Tuesday's action from 6pm tonight on


I have been looking forward to getting Poli Roi started this season
E.W. Terms
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