Don't miss Betfair ambassador Gordon Elliott’s latest column as he talks through his runners at Fairyhouse on SaturdayDecember 15, 2018
Campeador has been a very frustrating horse and his jumping has cost him a couple of big pots while it also saw him fall at the second at Navan on his first run over fences last month.
He has schooled well since Navan and he seems very well in himself so I’m hoping if he puts together the round of jumping that I know he is capable of he will go close here.
As he showed a number of times over hurdles he is a horse with plenty of ability.
Roaring Bull should make up into a useful chaser. He wasn’t a bad sort over hurdles and I probably ran him back a little quickly when he made his debut over fences at Navan last month.
That run came only ten days after he won a hurdle race at Clonmel so he might just have been feeling the effects of that run.
He did at least pick up useful experience at Navan and I’d be expecting him to step forward and run a decent race here.
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12:40 Poormans Hill
He is just struggling for a bit of confidence at the moment. On his second last run in the Cork National his jumping went to pieces and he could never get involved in the Troytown last time.
Those last two runs would suggest that he needs his sights lowered and this looks a nice race for him to take in.
He has plenty of weight but I think claiming off him well help and hopefully we will see a bit more from him here as he is a much better horse than he has shown on his last two runs.
The fitting of blinkers might just sharpen him up too.
13:15 Lethal Steps & Ocean Voyage
Lethal Steps disappointed on his first run for the yard when we tried him in a high class flat handicap on Irish Champions Weekend.
He just didn’t fire that day and he’s been given plenty of time since then. He seems to enjoy jumping and he has schooled well so I’d be hoping to see a lot more from him here.
He’s a horse with plenty of ability and hopefully the switch to jumping will bring out the best in him.
Ocean Voyage was too free on her hurdling debut at Gowran and she is better than she showed there. Hopefully that first experience over hurdles will have taught her plenty and she should settle better this time.
I do feel that she will come into her own on more testing ground so possibly she will be at her best when we get further into the winter.
13:50 Column Of Fire & Swordsman
Column Of Fire should be able to build on his first run over hurdles here two weeks ago when he was third to Lone Wolf.
He ran a solid race that day and I’d expect his jumping to sharpen up a lot as a result of that experience.
The ground won’t be as quick this time which will work in his favour and the longer trip will also suit him.
I think he could take the beating with normal improvement from his first run over hurdles.
Swordsman has been ready to start out for a little while but I’ve been waiting for easy ground with him.
He’s a grand horse who showed us more at home than he did on his racecourse debut at Limerick but maybe he was just a bit weak and immature last spring.
He looks like a horse that will stay well and he should improve throughout the season so I’d be hoping for a solid showing that he will be able to build on in the coming weeks.
14:25 Empire Burleque
This horse hasn’t been able to recapture the promise of his debut bumper win a couple of seasons ago.
I thought his second last run at Naas was encouraging even though he jumped poorly but he didn’t match that form at Limerick last time.
His Limerick run suggested that he need to move into handicaps so that is the route we will take with him.
I know that he has the ability to win off a mark of 106 but he needs to start doing everything right.
He wouldn’t have the same experience as a lot of these so he’s probably best watched today but he should start to do better now that his sights have been lowered.
15:00 Alpha Indi
He is a horse we got from the U.K. a number of months ago and he’s just taken a bit of time to come to himself.
I thought that he would have been out before now but he’s a horse who has just taken a bit more time than we initially thought.
He looks a grand, straight forward type who stays well but he is going to need this run as he hasn’t been out since March so he’s another one to watch.
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15:35 Dona Katharina & Larquebuse
Dona Katharina has run some solid races in defeat and I feel that she deserves to win a bumper.
She’s mare who I think will really come into her own when she starts jumping but I am hoping that she will be able to win a bumper before then.
She’s in good form and has come out of her last race at Ayr in good shape so I’d be expecting a decent showing.
Larquebuse is a nice mare who came to us after she won a point-to-point in good style in the spring.
She is going to be a lovely mare to go jumping with in the future but she is showing enough to suggest that she will be able to hold her own in bumpers.
She’ll probably be a better mare on softer ground so hopefully we’ll get some rain overnight.
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