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Gordon Elliott Christmas plans hinge on weather

Trainer Gordon Elliott in the parade ring at Punchestown
Image: Trainer Gordon Elliott in the parade ring at Punchestown

Gordon Elliott has a close eye on the weather as he formulates plans for an army of horses over the busy Christmas period.

Like many, Elliott is hoping for rain, with big targets ahead at both Leopardstown and Limerick.

Elliott said: "We don't know what way the ground is going to be yet. I was going through the board and I think we've 130 or 140 horses for Christmas, from St Stephen's Day to the New Year.

"I'm looking forward to Mengli Khan, obviously, in the two-mile novice chase, Delta Work and Apple's Jade.

"They're the obvious ones, and we've a lot of other young horses that we're looking forward to as well.

"The ground is going to be a big factor, and we need to see what way it's going to come in the next week.

"Everyone says it's going to be OK and it's going to come. It's frightening to think that it could turn up on the quicker side at Leopardstown."

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Elliott again reported Samcro in good shape for the Ryanair Hurdle - and reaffirmed his view reigning two-mile champion Buveur D'Air will be difficult to dethrone at Cheltenham in March.

He said: "He's in good form. He got beat fair and square the last day, and there was no excuse.

"Whatever he does in Leopardstown, everyone is going to have to be on their A-game to try to beat Buveur D'air on the performance I saw the last day."

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