You can get the low-down on all of Gordon Elliott’s runners for the upcoming Cheltenham Festival in Racing Post’s Stable Tour. It’s available for Racing Post Members’ Club subscribers in full on the website and will prove an invaluable guide for this season.
Abacadabras hasn’t quite lived up to his reputation yet this season but he had excuses at Christmas. He came back with mucus in his lungs after that run in the Matheson Hurdle and you can easily write that off.
A former winner of the Morgiana Hurdle, he’s a proven Grade One horse. To get within a length of the mighty Envoi Allen last year and just fail behind Shishkin in the Supreme last year is some form.
He was very unlucky in that Supreme last year and it took absolutely everything out of Shishkin to get up on the day. That horse is now odds-on for the Arkle while Envoi Allen is a supposed shoe-in for the Marsh.
Pace, pace, pace
One big factor nobody seems to have looked at is the pace angle. Abacadabras needs a strong pace to aim at. He is a very strong travelling sort. In the Supreme last year, he came there swinging off the bridle at the foot of the hill.
You’d hope the pace of a Champion Hurdle will suit him on the day and he’s a big contender. Yes, he was well beaten by Honeysuckle at the Dublin Racing Festival. However, Gordon has been adamant that they have only had one race in mind for him all year and that is the big one in March.
Elliott quote from the RP Stable Tour
“I wouldn’t be giving up on him for the Champion Hurdle. He didn’t run too badly in the Irish Champion Hurdle for a horse who scoped dirty at Christmas. I couldn’t be happier with him and this has been the plan all year. We know he wants a strong pace to aim at on nice ground, and he should get that at Cheltenham. I have plenty of faith in this horse.”
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