Gordon Elliott lands short-priced treble with bright prospects

Tipperary racecourse signed off for the year with a terrific national hunt meeting which served up some exciting performances with the winter season in mind. 
Gordon Elliott lands short-priced treble with bright prospects

Gordon Elliott was the star man on the day, recording a 7-2 treble courtesy of three particularly bright prospects: Shattered Love (4-6), Jetstream Jack (4-7) and Monbeg Notorious (8-11).

The day began on a positive note for favourite backers when classy bumper performer Shattered Love made a winning start over timber in the Follow Tipperary Races on Facebook Mares’ Maiden Hurdle.

An impressive mare, she impressed with her jumping in the early part of the race, and moved up stylishly as the race began in earnest.

She landed flat-footed at the back of the last, but picked up quickly to race home clear of Dont Kick Nor Bite. The runner-up, her herself a bumper winner with creditable form in listed company, travelled up looking potentially dangerous at the final bend, but could never get to the favourite, who looks a very smart jumper in the making.

“She’s a big mare, and whatever she does this year is a bonus,” said Elliott.

“She has filled out a bit since last year, but she’s still only a shell of a thing, so we’ll take it quietly with her. We’ll look for a mares’ race for her in about six or eight weeks’ time.”

Elliott’s Jetstream Jack, who ran in the Cheltenham Bumper as a young horse, has long been touted a chasing prospect, and he endorsed such a notion with a beautiful round of jumping on his debut over the larger obstacles, in the Tipperaryraces.ie Beginners’ Chase.

Bar getting in a touch close to one fence, he jumped like an old hand for Davy Russell, and stayed on strongly to account for market-rival Inis Meain.

“He jumped well, but we always knew chasing would be his game,” said Elliott. “We shouldn’t have sent him to Cheltenham last season because he was a bit buzzy and it took an awful lot out of him going over there. That was my own fault, and it spoiled the season for him. But he couldn’t have done much more today, he’ll be a nice horse over fences this season, and we’ll look for a winners’ race for him next.”

The completion of the treble had to wait until the last race, the Season Finale Flat Race, in which exciting staying prospect Monbeg Notorious ran away with the bumper.

“I like that performance, he’s a nice, honest horse,” admitted Elliott. “He won’t run in another bumper, he’ll go over hurdles next, but he won’t be a horse until he jumps a fence next year.”

Lion In His Heart had plenty of supporters prior to making his jumping debut in the Join The Tipperary Supporters’ Club 2017 Maiden Hurdle, and punters’ faith proved well founded as he made all for a comfortable success. Yet another promising sort, he proved to be the first leg of a double for a 10.5/1 double for trainer Henry De Bromhead, and the second leg of a near-5-1 brace for Bryan Cooper.

Strong in the market, the 5-2 chance set out to make all and, as one would expect from one from this stable, jumped with aplomb. Favourite Jack Dillinger was somewhat keen early, his jumping lacked the same fluency and, despite being brought with every chance in the straight, never looked like getting to the leader, which won with a bit up his sleeve.

“He always showed a good bit schooling over hurdles, and jumped well and did it nicely today,” said De Bromhead. “He could be a bit strong, but hopefully with that run under his belt he will settle a bit better. He’s still green, will learn a lot from the run, and will come on plenty for fitness, too. We’ll look for a novice hurdle next, maybe the For Auction Hurdle in Navan.”

Killiney Court, formerly with the now-retired Colm Murphy, made a winning start for de Bromhead, for whom winning jockey Mikey Fogarty was having his first ride. Well backed all morning, he deposed overnight favourite King’s Wharf at the head of the market early in the afternoon, but left it late to collar that rival in the race.

Said De Bromhead: “He’s a lovely horse to get, and Mikey gave him a super ride. There’s a 0-123 in Cork on October 16, and hopefully he’ll still be qualified for that.”

There was little remarkable about the Tipperary Centenary Year Handicap Hurdle, save, perhaps, the winning ride from Ruby Walsh aboard the Eric McNamara-trained Tristram Shandy. Ridden out the back in the three-mile contest, he looked to have a mountain to climb leaving the back, but Walsh brought his mount through with a perfectly timed run between horses to snatch victory from veteran Notification and favourite Varene De Vauzelle.

Samanntom, trained locally by Aidan Fogarty and ridden by Mark Enright, set to make all in the handicap chase over two-mile-one and, when hard pressed by Hard Bought, the winning pointer picked up resolutely to secure a second success inside the rails.

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Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.


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