It's not only Tiger Roll running for Betfair ambassador Gordon Elliott at Naas on Sunday. Check out his thoughts on the full team.
He gave us a great day in Gowran last month when he won the Thyestes. He looked to really enjoy himself on both the testing ground and on his first try over that trip as a chaser. He is now switching from a handicap into a graded race but the performance he produced at Gowran and the way he won one of the big staying handicaps of the season would suggest a race like this could also fall his way. I think he will take beating.
Minellafordollars comes here with questions to answer. It’s a while since he has shown useful form although he did show a little glimmer of promise in a handicap chase at Punchestown last month. He will have to progress on that effort to be a factor here but that last run did offer some encouragement for the future.
This mare has progressed really well since winning her maiden hurdle at Wexford in the autumn. She is a very tough and honest stayer and I thought she ran really well in a Listed race at Punchestown a couple of months ago when she was second to Skyace. Since then this race has been her aim and I’m very happy with how her preparations have gone. This sort of test will be right up her street and hopefully she can pick up more black type.
I don’t think we saw the best of Fury Road at Christmas when he was fourth to Flooring Porter and I’m still to be convinced that he is an out and out three miler and this sort of trip might turn out to be his optimum. Leopardstown aside he has done very little wrong since he went hurdling last season and his Albert Bartlett third last March is an especially strong piece of form. His Grade 2 penalty won’t make life easy here but he’s in great shape and comes here off a light season and I’d like to think that he could take beating.
There’s nothing more that can be said about Tiger Roll. He’s an absolute legend and it’s just very exciting to be back here again at this time of year with him as we look towards Cheltenham and Aintree.
I know he was disappointing when he was last seen in action at Cheltenham in November but I’m hoping we will see a different Tiger Roll here. He’s been in very good form at home and looks to retain all his interest and enthusiasm and he’s giving me all the right signs so hopefully we will see it from him on the track for the first time this season.
Obviously the focus for most people is not today but rather the future and I understand completely but we’ll just get this race out of the way first. He won’t be mad about the soft ground but he’s run well on it before and I’m just hoping that he produces a performance which shows me that the old spark is still there.
This race, which was due to be run at Clonmel on Thursday, looks a suitable option for Frontal Assault. We tried him in a high class staying handicap last time and he ran respectably to a point but he just wasn’t good enough. I’d say a switch back to novice company on more testing ground over what will be a demanding three miles should suit him well and I could see him showing up well here.
Ragnar Lodbrok looks a galloper to me and his best efforts this season have come at three miles. At times his jumping can let him down and over this trip he has more of a chance whereas everything was just happening too quick for him at Naas last time in a Grade 1 over two and a half miles. He’s in good shape and with everything looking as though it will be in his favour he should go close.
Coqolino looked very good when winning his point-to-point last season and has shown promise on his three runs for us but I hope the best is still to come from him. He probably just needed the run when he was beaten on his hurdling debut at Galway in October and then he took a nasty final flight fall at Punchestown the following month after which we gave him plenty of time. As this is his first run in a few months he might need this but I’d like to think he could make his presence felt.
I’ve been waiting a few weeks to run Robinstown but the various cancellations have created quite a backlog in terms of maiden hurdles and I’ve just had to be patient with him. He has plenty of experience in point-to-points and that will help him here. I think he’ll make up into a grand horse on the track and some of his pointing form, which includes a second to Dunboyne in October, is very reasonable. I’m hoping for a solid showing from him.
He has run a couple of times for us and has run respectably without setting the world alight. However, his last two runs have been over two miles and he definitely looked as though he would appreciate moving up in trip when he ran at Punchestown last month. This sort of trip at a track like this should suit him well and I’d put him forward as having an each way chance here.
I was hoping Ginto would win on his debut at Fairyhouse last month as he had always shown a lot at home and looked very good when he won his point-to-point for us in October. As it happened he finished second that day. He was just too green and raw and a steadily run race wouldn’t have suited him either and a few of our horses weren’t quite running up to scratch at the time. He looks to have sharpened up and learnt a good deal from that Fairyhouse run and I’d hope that he could take beating here.