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Gordon Elliott hopes for rain for Don Poli at Leopardstown

Bryan J. Cooper celebrates on Don Poli after they win the RSA Chase
Image: Don Poli: Irish Gold Cup target

Gordon Elliott is hoping to see plenty of rain for Don Poli ahead of the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown on February 12.

The eight-year-old was pulled up on his first start for Elliott at Down Royal in November, but put that well behind him when finding only stablemate Outlander too good in the Lexus Chase at Christmas.

Owned by Gigginstown House Stud, Don Poli was third to Don Cossack in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last season when trained by Willie Mullins.

Elliott said: "Don Poli will come back for the Irish Gold Cup. The more rain that comes, the better for him.

"I couldn't be happier with him. He was hunting on Thursday and was winging ditches, so he is grand."

Meanwhile, Elliott is considering options for Grade One-winning mare Apple's Jade.

Another to move to Elliott in the well-publicised Gigginstown-Mullins split, the five-year-old was beaten a nose by Irving in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle before inflicting defeat on Vroum Vroum Mag in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

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Although holding a Champion Hurdle entry, the Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham is her preferred target in March, and she could meet Annie Power at Punchestown before then.

Elliott said: "There are two races for her (before Cheltenham), including the race at Punchestown. It will probably be the Mares' Hurdle then (at Cheltenham)."

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