Elliott hopes Lasix can help Dirar claim US pot
Gordon Elliott's Stateside adventure with Dirar reaches its climax today when last year's Ebor winner tackles the American Grand National at Far Hills, New Jersey.
Placed for a second successive year in the Galway Hurdle in July, Dirar was subsequently transferred to America. On his first outing there in the New York Turf Writers Cup at Saratoga the following month, he finished a good second under Barry Geraghty, before then disappointing in a conditions race for Davy Condon.
Elliott has since revealed that the six-year-old burst a blood vessel that day, so on this occasion he will run on the anti-bleeding drug Lasix, a substance that is banned in Europe.
Speaking yesterday, Elliott said: "He burst in his last race so we have decided to run him on Lasix.
"He worked on it the other day and went very well so we are hopeful of a big run."
Dirar will be ridden in America's most valuable jump race, which has a prize fund of $250,000, by the Meath trainer's brother Joey.
In all, there are 14 runners in the two-mile-five-furlong hurdle.
One of those is Mabou, the horse that beat Dirar in Saratoga, while last year's winner Percussionist, which is trained by Irish native Tom Foley, also takes his chance again.
That one is set to be ridden Kevin Tobin, a Clonmel native who spent a few years based in Lambourn with Charlie Mann before relocating to America to study addiction counselling.
The former Tony Mullins representative Your Sum Man, successful in the Grade One under Barry Geraghty's brother Ross in 2009, is another that features in the line up.