Elliott Duo In Ascot Picture

Thu 7th Dec 2017, 07:42

Gordon Elliott
©Healy Racing Photos
Gordon Elliott has two chances of landing the Racing Welfare Handicap Hurdle for a third time at Ascot on December 23.

Elliott claimed the prize with Cause Of Causes and Bayan, and is responsible for Mick Jazz and Veinard this time.

Willie Mullins could run Bapaume, Bleu Et Rouge, Cilaos Emery and Meri Devie. Completing the Irish-trained entries are Tigris River (Joseph O'Brien) and Top Othe Ra (Tom Mullins).

Elgin will chase a hat-trick in the £ 150,000 contest, which was run as the Wessex Youth Trust Handicap Hurdle last season and had previously been known as The Ladbroke.

Trained by Alan King, Elgin already has a course-and-distance win to his name this season and defied a 5lb higher mark in the Greatwood at Cheltenham. He has been raised another 6lb since then.

"The Racing Welfare Handicap Hurdle is the plan for Elgin," said King.

"He hasn't done much since Cheltenham and is just cantering away at the moment. He's up to 151 now and it's getting more difficult, but there you go. I think we have got to stay down the handicap route with him for the moment.

"We also have William H Bonney (fifth behind Elgin at Cheltenham) entered. He would only be a possible at this stage and could maybe go to Sandown this weekend."

Nicky Henderson has entered Charli Parcs, Verdana Blue, Lough Derg Spirit and Jenkins.

On the same card, t here could also be a strong challenge from Ireland on the JLT Reve De Sivola Long Walk Hurdle, with Hatton's Grace one-two Apple's Jade and Nichols Canyon in the mix at this stage.

Alcander justifies support in finale

Alcander rewarded his supporters when taking the second division of the mile-and-a-half handicap at Dundalk for trainer Fran Flood.

THE IRISH TIMES