Gordon Elliott has a host of good chances at Naas on Saturday including Coko Beach in the two-mile novice hurdle.
Writing in his exclusive Betfair blog, Elliott talks through some of his contenders on the Naas card.
Five of the races are live on ITV4 as Irish racing keeps the show on the road with all UK racing abandoned until at least Wednesday due to the outbreak of Equine Influenza.
2.10 Naas - 2m BBA Ireland Limited Opera Hat Mares Chase (Listed Race)
Synopsis and Mrs Lovett
“I was delighted with Synopsis when she won at Cheltenham a couple of months ago as she looked to have come right back to her best that day and her effort there suggested that she could be competitive in some mares black type races. Her jumping wasn’t up to scratch at Huntingdon last time though and she struggled before eventually pulling up. She heads into this race in good form and if she comes back to her Cheltenham form I think she will run well.
“Mrs Lovett was progressing nicely over fences earlier in the season and when she won a useful mares handicap chase at Fairyhouse a couple of months ago I thought that she might be another to get black type over fences. She just wasn’t herself when she ran poorly at Warwick last time and I’m going to draw a line through that run as she didn’t run to anything like her best. She’s been given plenty of time since then and looks to be in good heart so I’m hoping she’ll give a good account of herself.”
2.40 Naas - 2m EMS Copiers Rated Novice Hurdle
Coko Beach and Elysian Plains
“Coko Beach is a nice horse that came to us from France earlier in the season. He’s shown me plenty at home and I was expecting a good run from him in a Grade 2 at Leopardstown over Christmas but things just didn’t happen and he possibly paid the price for chasing quite a strong pace. He is much better than he showed there and he’s been given plenty of time since then so I’m hoping for a much improved effort here. I still think he’s a horse with potential.
“Elysian Plains just needed some time off from racing. He got very free and keen after his first run over hurdles and we felt the best course of action was to stop with him and freshen him up and he’s been fine at home for the last few weeks. He is a horse with ability and if we can harness it he should make a reasonable hurdles but today I just want to see him do things right and relax better than he has been doing.”
3.10 Naas - 2m4f O'Driscoll O'Neil Handicap Chase
"He is turning into a disappointing horse. He made heavy enough weather of winning his beginner’s chase at Fairyhouse on New Year’s Day and then he was well beaten on his handicap chase debut at Thurles last month. He was quite a capable sort as a hurdler but he has yet to reach that level as a chaser and he’ll have to leave the form of his last run well behind if he is to make an impression here. “
- For Gordon Elliott’s thoughts on all of his weekend runners, visit his exclusive Betfair blog.