From the last four weekends, Gordon Elliott has managed to mop up big prizes on three of them and tomorrow he will look for a fourth in five weeks when he sends Bayan to Ascot for the Ladbroke Hurdle.
The lucrative handicap hurdle is the final big race before the hectic Christmas period gets underway and it proved a happy hunting ground for Elliott and Davy Condon two years ago when they teamed up with Cause Of Causes to win the race at massive odds. With a similar profile, Bayan will try and give Elliott a second win in the race.
Cause Of Causes had been second in the Galway Hurdle prior to winning the Ladbroke and Bayan was second this year at Galway behind Thomas Edison and despite having plenty of weight tomorrow, Elliott is hoping that the consistent five-year-old can still give a good account of himself.
"He's in good form and he won't mind the ground but we're hoping that he has a nice each-way chance. He does have a lot of weight but he's a consistent horse and we'll hope for the best," Elliott told The Herald.
With Balbriggan winning a Troytown at the end of last month, Don Cossack triumphant in the John Durkan at Punchestown and No More Heroes taking the scalp of Shaneshill in the Navan Novice Hurdle, the Meath-based trainer is naturally very pleased with how the campaign is going.
"The horses are flying at the moment thank God and long may it continue coming up to Christmas."
Four Irish-trained horses will contest the Ladbroke in search of an early €100,000 Christmas present with Tony Martin sending over Pyromaniac, champion trainer Willie Mullins will rely on Clondaw Warrior, who was third in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham last time out, and four-year-old Sea Beat sneaks in to the race at the bottom of the weights for Arthur Moore and Robbie Colgan.