The first meeting of the season at the home of Jumps Racing, the Showcase Meeting begins on Friday at Cheltenham. We’re set to see some fantastic and classy horses making their returns at Prestbury Park, including a strong squad from Gordon Elliott.
The County Meath based trainer has four horses entered, including two extremely exciting prospects. That includes a pair of entries in a race he’s won for the past three seasons, the Pertemps Qualifier.
You can get the low-down on all of Gordon Elliott’s runners for the upcoming campaign 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.
Galvin out to enhance Festival aspirations
Galvin is one of the exciting shippers to Cheltenham, holding an entry in the Novices’ Chase on Friday. He’ll be facing a useful field, but Elliott clearly has high hopes for his five-year-old. He was sighted at last year’s Festival, finishing second in the Northern Trust Novices’ Handicap Chase. He’s been in rampant form since, winning three subsequent starts, including a recent Grade 3 success at Tipperary.
His main aim for the campaign will be a return to Prestbury Park, and he’ll have plenty of experience at the venue to call upon. Speaking to Racing Post in Part Two of the Stable Tour, Elliott said: “The National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham is made for this lad. It’s hard to believe it, but he didn’t win over fences until July of this year, when he won over 2m5f at Killarney“.
Initially headed for the Galway Plate, he was ruled out just hours before that engagement. Elliott continued to say “The plan was the Galway Plate but we had to rule him out on the morning of the race, which was unfortunate. I’d say there’s a nice pot in him and the National Hunt Chase is the plan. He was second at Cheltenham last season and ran well there as a hurdler, so it seems the logical aim“.
An exciting season awaits Galvin, especially if he’s able to pass this engagement with flying colours.
Options open for unexposed Tullybeg
Although he’s won just one of his four starts to date, Tullybeg remains an exciting prospect. Costing £50,000 when bought at the Doncaster Sales, he’s well-bred and relished a step up in distance at Downpatrick last time. Upped to 2m 6f, he blew away the competition that day to break his maiden in some style.
Speaking about the decision in Racing Post’s Stable Tour, Elliott noted: “I think stepping up in trip was the key to him at Downpatrick, where he won well. I might not run him on real heavy ground but he’s in good form and we’re looking forward to him.”
Tullybeg holds a pair of entries at the Showcase Meeting. The first is in the Novices’ Hurdle on Friday, where he’d be facing a very useful field including Paul Nicholls’ Ask For Glory. Perhaps the more interesting of the two options is the Pertemps Qualifier on Saturday.
Elliott has won the last three renewals of the race and although he’s more likely to run in the Novices’ Hurdle, taking the handicap option would be extremely interesting. He’d be forcing the British Handicapper to give him a mark if he does hold his ground, which could open up further doors.