THE JUMPS season is about to get going good and proper and who better to hear from than Gordon Elliott.
The top Irish trainer is ready to rumble and the Betfair ambassador fills us in on his Limerick team for Sunday.
Best Chance – Run Wild Fred (16:30)
13:30 Frontal Assault & O Connell Street
He’s not a bad horse and showed up well in a couple of fair bumpers in the early part of the year including when finishing third to Ferny Hollow at Fairyhouse in February.
I think his last run at Clonmel was just one run too many at that stage of his career and he was always going to be left off after that. He’s come back in a stronger horse and has schooled nicely so I’d be hoping for a good run from him although he will come on plenty for this run.
O Connell Street is a horse that we bought out of Nicky Henderson’s yard during the summer. He was placed on all three of his runs in England and was second over hurdles at Catterick in January on his most recent start.
He’s been off the track for a while and we are just feeling our way with him so I would say whatever he does here he will improve on. Hopefully he will run a solid race and his previous experience over hurdles will be a help to him.
14:30 Surin & Felicidad
Surin runs over fences at Fairyhouse on Saturday and was just declared here as a precaution in case she were to fall at the first couple of fences.
Her first preference for the weekend is Fairyhouse and we will get that over with before deciding whether to run her.
I was delighted with her first run for us when she won a maiden hurdle at Listowel last month. She jumped really well that day and saw out the two and a half miles well so this slightly longer trip shouldn’t be a problem for her.
On form and ratings she has plenty to find with a few of these but we are running her to see can she pick up some black type which is a priority for her this season. Hopefully she will run well but this looks a smart enough race.
15:30 Dallas Des Pictons
His first season over fences never really took off and I think there is more to come from him as a chaser.
He could have run in the Munster National but the conditions of this race suit him very well and it might be better for him to start off in a small field and get some confidence before moving into high class handicap company.
He’s in good shape and should go well but he will need this run and whatever he does today he will improve on.
16:00 Roaring Bull & Aforementioned
He will make his return in the Munster National and he’s in good shape but like a lot of our horses he will come on plenty for this run and he took a couple of runs last season to be at his best.
He’s won a Paddy Power Chase and all those good staying handicaps will be on his agenda again and this looked a logical starting point for his season. If he puts his best foot forward he could run well but I’m expecting plenty of improvement from this run.
Aforementioned is another who we have declared for Fairyhouse on Saturday in a novice chase and the plan is that he will go there and we will get Fairyhouse out of the way before deciding whether he lines up here.
His last run suggested that he might be a horse on the up and while he lacks experience he has a light weight on his back and that could help him run well if he did line out here.
16:30 Run Wild Fred & Present In Court
Run Wild Fred was a very smart staying novice hurdler last season and I hope he will be as good over fences.
This sort of trip and even a bit further suits him very well and he has schooled well so hopefully he will go close to winning although I remember last season he came on quite a lot for his first run of the season and he wouldn’t be too hard on himself at home so this run should bring him forward.
I think he is a nice staying novice for the season ahead and I’m looking forward to starting him off here.
Present In Court has yet to reach the level he did as a hurdler but I’m hoping he will still make up into a reasonable chaser and he should improve from his comeback at Navan last month which was his first run since December.
It is possible that his future lies in handicaps but we will see how he gets on here before deciding what route to take with him this season.