GORDON Elliott will take on A Plus Tard in the Grade 1 Savills Chase at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival with both Delta Work and Galvin.
The two Elliott-trained runners both ran at Down Royal last time out behind Frodon, with Galvin losing little in defeat when seeing his winning sequence of six come to an end by only three-quarters of a length.
Delta Work was five lengths further back in fourth, just behind Gold Cup winner Minella Indo.
While A Plus Tard looks the one to beat among the 23 entries for the December 28th showpiece at this stage, given how impressive he was at Haydock in the Betfair Chase, Elliott will accept the challenge.
“I was very happy with Delta Work, we know he always takes a run. He’s in good form and the plan is to go and Galvin will join him,” said Elliott.
“He ran a good race, too. He had race-fitness on his side, but he’ll like Leopardstown and he’ll like the ground.
“Hopefully Jack Kennedy will be back in time to ride Delta Work as he gets on better with him than anyone.
“Galvin is probably stuck between a rock and a hard place, whether he’s Grade 1 material is the question. He did run well at Down Royal, but this will be a bigger test. He could end up being a horse that could run well in the Grand National in time.”
Al Boum Photo, Allaho, Champ, Envoi Allen, Kemboy and Minella Indo all have an entry.
The Savills Chase was among a host of Grade 1s for which the entries were released on Monday, with Elliott represented in all of them.
Few novice chasers have created quite the impression that Riviere D’Etel did in a Grade 2 at Punchestown as a four-year-old filly she will be getting plenty of weight in the Racing Post Novice Chase.
“She’ll have entries at Navan and Cork, but I’d say the plan will be to go to the Grade One as she’ll get all the allowances as a four-year-old,” said Elliott.
“She jumps very well so I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t go there. The Arkle is a long way off so we’ll get Christmas out of the way, but if she comes through this you’d have to be thinking about it.”
The likes of Appreciate It, Ferny Hollow and Bob Olinger are among the 31 possibles.
Elliott is keen to step Abacadabras up in trip for the Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle following his third to Honeysuckle in the Hatton’s Grace.
“For me he was a bit lacklustre, he had a good blow after it so he’ll come on for the run. He never got into the race to be honest, it was a very funny race,” said Elliott.
“For a horse who always travels well over two miles, for me he was very sleepy. I’ll step him up to three miles at Christmas and I’m looking forward to it. I’ll probably run Sire Du Berlais and Grand Roi as well.
“He’s probably not good enough to beat Honeysuckle in a Champion Hurdle and while no race is easy at Cheltenham, the best chance for him is probably the Stayers’ Hurdle.”
Stayers’ Hurdle winner Flooring Porter, Klassical Dream and Quilixios are in, too.
While Elliott’s Mighty Potter lost his unbeaten record in the Royal Bond on Sunday he still went into plenty of notebooks and will be seen next in the
Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle along with stablemate Three Stripe Life, a late absentee because of the ground.
“Davy (Russell) thought the ground was a bit tight for Three Stripe Life but there’s nothing wrong with him, I’d imagine both him and Mighty Potter will run in this. It will be a good race, it will be interesting what Willie (Mullins) gets out over the next couple of weeks,” said Elliott.
“Mighty Potter is a big chaser in the making. I think the faster gallop will suit him as the Royal Bond was a messy race, we’ll look forward to Leopardstown now.”
The Neville Hotels Novice Chase over three miles has attracted 17 entries, including Bob Olinger, Beacon Edge, Vanillier and Paul Nicholls’ Threeunderthrufive – but Elliott believes his Run Wild Fred, winner of the Troytown, sets a good standard.
“I’m thinking Run Wild Fred will run in the Neville. He went up 14lb for winning at Navan so he sets a fair standard for a novice chaser at this stage of the season. There’s no complications with him and he’ll go straight for this,” said Elliott.
Elliott intends to run Samcro in the Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase, where he will likely face one or more of Chacun Pour Soi, Energumene and Allaho.
“He’s very hard to train and might not be quite what he was, but he’s still well capable of picking up good prize-money,” said Elliott.