Gordon Elliott: Exclusive thoughts on my Saturday runners at Gowran Park and Haydock

Betfair Ambassador Gordon Elliott has a bumper afternoon at Gowran Park on Saturday, as he sends seven runners into action, while another two represent our man’s yard across the water at Haydock. Here’s what he thinks of their chances…

“Minellafordollars is a lovely big individual who makes his seasonal return here today. This looks an ideal opportunity for him to open up his account over hurdles and I am looking forward to seeing him run.”

Kuraka contests the 3-y-o Maiden Hurdle. He made a pleasing start to his hurdling career at Down Royal earlier this month finishing second to Espoir D’allen, a nice horse of Gavin Cromwell‘s who has won both his hurdles. He ran well on heavy ground on the flat, so with a bit of luck he’ll handle conditions today and go one better.

Minellafordollars is a lovely big individual who makes his seasonal return here today. The facile winner of a point-to-point at the end of 2016, he then went on to win his bumper in fine fashion at Navan on heavy ground. Today looks an ideal opportunity for him to open up his account over hurdles and I am looking forward to seeing him run.

Roaring Bull was a surprise winner of his bumper. He hadn’t been showing too much at home and was still very green so really benefited from the summer out at grass to strengthen up. That much was evident at Tipperary last month where he was the easy winner of a Maiden Hurdle. I think he will enjoy conditions today and I anticipate another good show from him.

Pats Oscar’s last few runs have been nicely consistent, the most recent of which was a narrowly beaten second at Clomel. She won very well on her penultimate start at Perth on heavy ground, so if she handles the drop back in trip today she’s more than capable of maintaining that consistency.

Flaxen Flare ran well last time out finishing third 11.5L behind stablemate Apples Jade in the Grade 2 Lismullen Hurdle. There were only four runners but he put up a good performance despite a mistake at the last. He’s up against very strong opposition in Min, and he would need to pull out all the stops to win this, but I do expect a good run with a clear round of jumping.

Ibsen reverts back to hurdles, after some promising runs on the flat, to take on this Grade 3 Handicap Hurdle off bottom weight. This is a big ask but Jack Kennedy gets on really well with him and tends to get the best out of him so, although he would need to improve, if he handles the testing conditions I wouldn’t be surprised to see him run well.

Dounikos looked like he needed a break after his last performance and has done well for a summer’s grass returning into training in great order. The dual bumper winner steps back in trip for this 2m4 Beginners Chase and I think we’ll see the best from him over fences. He’s the winner of a point-to-point so that will hold him in good stead for today. My main worry would be the ground.

Monbeg Notorious is a lovely big galloping horse who has always been a chaser in the making so I’m looking forward to seeing him run. Now the winner of a bumper and two hurdles, he’s a very nice individual who should relish conditions today. He’s another whose point-to-point win will be a benefit to him today.

Oulander takes on the big one, the Grade 1 Betfair Chase. He retains the cheekpieces that certainly looked to have helped things along last time out where he won the JNwine Champion Chase at Down Royal. Prior to that, he had lost himself a little but we took him hunting and did some showjumping with him to give him a change of scenery and try to sweeten him up, and it paid off. Hopefully it wasn’t a one off, as he faces some tough competition today. He will love the ground and I’m confident if he’s on form of a big run.

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Source:: Betfair UK Horse Racing News